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Fleming H. Revell Company 


Copyright, 1902 by 

Fleming H. Revell Company 






To the Boys and Girls \^ 

Who are Helping to Turn the World 
Upside Down 


This is a book of pictures and stories for big children and 
small grown-up folks; for all who love Sinbad the sailor 
and his strange country. It is a topsy-turvy book; there 
is no order about the chapters; and you can begin to read 
it anywhere. It is intended to give a bird's-eye view to 
those who cannot take birds' wings. The stories are not 
as good as those of the Arabian Nights but the morals are 
better — and so are the pictures. Moreover the stories are 
true. You must not skip any of the chapters or the pictures 
but you may the preface, if you like. 

j S. M. Z. 

Bahrein y Arabia. | A. E. Z. 















HASSA . . . . o 73 





MOUR 9 2 









ARAB BOYS Facing Title. 





COAT . . 29 












* From the Sunday School Times, by permission. 























On this big round earth there are all sorts of countries and 
peoples. Men walk on it on every side just like flies crawl- 
ing over a watermelon and they do not fall off either. On 
the next page you can see how they travel all around the 
world; some in steamships, some in carriages or on horses, 
some in jinrickshaws and some in the railway coaches. In 
Topsy-turvy Land they have no railroads and not even 
waggon-roads or waggons. A horse or a camel or a 
donkey is used for passengers and the camel caravan is a 
freight train. 

Or if you wish, the camel is a topsy-turvy ship which 
sails in the sand instead of in the water. It is called the 
ship of the desert. The masts point down instead of up; 
there are four masts instead of three; and although there 
are ropes the desert-ship has no sails and no rudder— unless 
the rudder be the tail. When the ship lies at anchor to be 
loaded it feeds on grass and the four masts are all snugly 
tucked away under the hull. In Arabia you generally see 
these ships of the desert in a long line like a naval proces- 
sion, each battleship towing its mate by a piece of rope 
fastened from halter to tail! But not only is the mode of 
travel strange in Topsy-turvy Land, even the time of the 
day is all upside down. When the boys and girls of Amer- 
ica are going to bed the boys and girls of Arabia are think- 



ing of getting up. As early as four o'clock by western time 
the muezzin calls out loud from the top of the minaret (for 
Moslem churches have no steeples and no bells) to come 
and pray. Arabs count the hours from sunrise. It is noon 


at six o'clock and they breakfast at one; at three o'clock in 
the evening all good boys and girls are asleep. 

In Topsy-turvy Land all the habits and customs are ex- 
actly opposite to those in America or England. For instance 



A R A B I A 

when a boy enters a room he takes off his shoes but leaves 
his hat on his head. I do not know whether we should call 
it a hat, however. His hat has no rim and is not made of 
felt or straw, but is just a folded handkerchief of a large size 
and bright colour with a piece of cord to hold it wound round 
his head — a sort of a hat in two pieces. The girls go without 
shoes but carefully cover their pretty (or ugly) faces with a 
black veil. 

At home you eat with a spoon or use a knife and fork. 
Here the Arabs eat with their fingers; nor do they use any 
plates or butter dishes, but a large piece of flat bread serves 
as a plate until it is all eaten. So you see in Arabia the chil- 
dren not only eat their rice and meat but their plates also. 
You read a book from left to right but in Arabia everybody 
begins at the right-hand cover and reads backward. Even 
the lines read backward and in Arabic writing there are no 
commas or capitals and the vowels are written not next to 
the consonants but stuck up above them. Potato in Arabic 
would be written with English letters this way: x T P 
Can you read it ? 

In your country a carpenter stands at his bench to work, 
but here they sit on the ground. With you he uses a vise to 
hold the board or stick he is planing; here he uses his bare 
toes. With you he pushes the saw or, especially, the plane 
away from him to cut or to smooth a piece of wood, but in 
Topsy-turvy Land he pulls his tools towards him. Buttons 
are on the button-hole side and the holes are where you put 
the buttons. Door keys and door hinges are made of wood, 
not of iron as in the Occident. The women wear toe-rings 




and nose-rings as well as earrings and bracelets. Every- 
thing seems different from what it is in a Christian country. 
One strange sight is to meet people out riding. Do you 
know that the men ride donkeys side-saddle, but the women 
ride as men do in your country ? When a missionary lady 
first came to Bahrein in Eastern Arabia and the boys saw 
her riding a donkey they called out: " Come and see, come 
and see! The lady has no feet /" Because they saw only 


one side of her. Then another one called out and said: 
" Yes she has, and they are both on this side I " 

Another odd custom is that Arabs always turn the fingers 
of the hand down as we turn them up in beckoning or call- 
ing anybody. Many other gestures seem topsy-turvy as well. 

In your country boys learn the lesson of politeness — ladies 




first; but it is not so over here. It is men first in all grades 
of society; and not only men first but men last, in the mid- 
dle, and all the time. Women and girls have a very small 
place given them in Topsy-turvy Land. The Arabs say 
that of all animal kinds the female is the most valuable ex- 
cept in the case of mankind! When a girl baby is born the 
parents are thought very unfortunate. How hard the 
Bedouin girls have to work! They are treated just like 
beasts of burden as if they had no souls. They go barefoot 
carrying heavy loads of wood or skins of water, grind the 
meal and make fresh bread every morning or spin the 
camel's hair or goafs hair into one coarse garment. They 
are very ignorant and superstitious, the chief remedies for 
sickness being to brand the body with a hot iron or wear 
charms— a verse from the Koran sewn up in leather or a 
string of blue beads, which are supposed to drive away evil 

How very thankful girls should be that in all Christian 
lands they have a higher place and a better lot than the 
poor girls and women of Arabia! For the greatest con- 
trast is the religion of the inhabitants of Topsy-turvy 
Land. That is all upside down too. The Lord Jesus 
teaches us to pray in secret not to be seen of men; we 
are to go quietly alone and tell God everything. But 
Mohammed, the prophet of Arabia, taught his followers to 
pray openly on any street corner, or on the deck of a ship, in 
public, just like the Pharisees whom Jesus condemns. And 
when these people fast, as they are supposed to for a whole 
month, they do not really go without food, but each day at 



sunset they begin to eat in larger quantity than usual! — be- 
cause they think by such fasting to gain favour with God 
and do not know that to fast from sin and evil habits is the 
fast God wants. Another thing very sad in this land of 
Topsy-turvy is that there are no Sunday-schools — they 
do not observe our Sabbath — and the boys and girls do not 
have bright Sunday-school lesson leaves or a picture-roll. 
They spend Sunday and every other day in learning all the 
evil they see in those that are grown up. Poor children! 
They have never heard the sweet words of Jesus, " Suffer 
little children to come unto me and forbid them not : for of 
such is the kingdom of God." We tell you all this about 
them that you may pray for them that God may soon send 
more missionaries to preach to them these precious words. 
We want you all by prayer and offerings to help put a 
silver lining in the dark clouds of their lives. 

The other chapters in this little book will tell you more 
about the land and its people and as you read them do not 
forget to pray for them. 

If you are faithful and true, always shining for Jesus, 
your bright light will reach as far as dark Arabia, and will 
help to turn that land of Topsy-turvy right side up. When 
joy and gladness will take the place of sorrow and sadness, 
and ignorance give way to the knowledge of the Truth. In 
one place in the Bible it tells how to make these topsy- 
turvy lands right side up again. Do you know where that 
is? Acts 17:6, 7. "These that have turned the world 
upside down are come hither also . . . saying that 

there is another King, even Jesus." 




In the atlas Arabia looks like a big mail-pouch hung up 
by the side of some railway station, pretty empty of 
everything. But this queer mail-pouch country is not as 
empty as people imagine. It is a country larger than all of 
the United States east of the Mississippi. It is longer than 
the longest mail-pouch and much wider. From north to 
south you can ride a camel one thousand miles and from 
east to west more than six hundred. But the geography of 
the country is topsy-turvy altogether and that is why it 
has been so long a neglected peninsula. People kept on 
wondering at the queer exterior of the mail-pouch and 
never opened the lock to its secrets by looking into the 

First of all, Arabia is perhaps the only land that has three 
of its boundaries fixed and the other always shifting. 
Such is the case with the northern boundary of Arabia. 
It is different on every map and changes every year because 
the inhabitants go about as nomads; that is, they "have no 
continuing city." 

Arabia has no rivers except underground. It has no 

railroad and very few roads at all. Some parts of the 

country are very green and fertile and in other parts there 

is not enough grass the year around to give one square 

meal to a single grasshopper. Arabia has four thousand 




miles of coast and yet only six harbours where steamers 
call. There are better maps of the North Pole and of Mars 
and of the moon than of southeastern Arabia. The reason 
is that men have spent millions of dollars to find the North 
Pole and telescopes are all the time looking at the moon; 
but no one has ever spent time or money to explore this 
part of Arabia. The Greek geographers had a better 
knowledge of Arabia than we have to-day. 

There are no lakes in Arabia, but there is a large sea of sand 
called Al Ahkaf, in which the traveller Von Wrede threw 
a lead and line and found no bottom! No one has been 
there since to see whether his story was true. At Bahrein, 
in eastern Arabia, there are salt-water wells on shore and 
fresh-water springs in the midst of the salt sea from 
which water is brought to shore. Arabia has no postage- 
stamps and no political capital and no telegraph system. 
Different coins from different parts of the world are used in 
different provinces. It is a land of contradictions and even 
the waters that bound it are misnamed. The Red Sea is 
blue; the Persian Gulf has no Persian ships and should be 
called an English lake; and the Straits of Hormuz are 
crooked. This topsy-turvy land has no political divisions. 
Some say it has five and some seven provinces; no one 
knows what is its population as no census was ever taken. 
In nearly all countries the mountain ranges run north and 
south, but in Arabia they run nearly east and west. There 
are desert sands six hundred feet deep and mountain peaks 
nine thousand feet high. On the coasts it is fearfully hot 
and the climate is often deadly. On the highlands it is often 








bitterly cold; and yet the people are al! of the same race 
I and speech and custom and language and religion. 

There are no pumps in Arabia, but plenty of wells. There 
are no woods in Arabia, but plenty of trees. The camel is a 




% 'A . 


topsy-turvy ship and the ostrich a topsy-turvy bird. The 
Arabs call the former the ship of the desert; and the 
latter they say is half camel and half bird. In some parts of 
Arabia horses and cows are fed on bojled fish because that 
is cheaper than grass ! In other parts of the country donkeys 
are fed on dates. Arabia has more sultans and princes than 
any other country of the same size and yet it is a land with- 




out a settled government. The people never meet one 
another without saying ''Peace to you"; yet there has 
never been any peace over the whole land since Christ's 
birth or even since the days of Ishmael. 

Every one carries a weapon and yet there are very few 
wild animals. It is more dangerous to meet a Bedouin 
than a lion when you are a stranger on the road. The 
Arabs are a nation of robbers. Now you will wonder how 
we can also say that Orientals are the most hospitable of 
any people in the world for the Arabs are Orientals. And 
yet it is strictly true that these robbers are more hospitable, 
in a way, than you people of Western countries. They 
have a proverb which says that "Every stranger is an 
invited guest" ; and another which says, "The guest while 
in the house is its lord." If an Arab gets after you to rob 
or kill you, it is only necessary to take refuge in his tent for 
safety. He is bound then, by the rules of Oriental hospital- 
ity, to treat you as his guest. But you must not stay there 
too long and you must be careful how you get away! You 
will find instances of this respect for the duty of hospitality 
all through the Bible story. It was in the earliest Bible 
times, as later and as now, a grievous sin to be inhospitable. 
The cradle of the Mohammedan religion is Arabia, and yet 
in no country are they more ignorant of their religion. 
How sad to think that when they do worship God they do 
it in such an ignorant and idolatrous way! In our next 
chapter we shall see more about this. 

Arabia has no national flag, no national hymn and no 
national feeling. Every one lives for himself and no one 




cares for his neighbour. This does not sound strange of 
robbers but it does of people who are so hospitable. This 
queer country we are about to visit together and talk over 
with each other. 

You will not grow weary by the way, we hope. If the 
desert tracks are long and tiresome through the following 
chapters, just refresh yourself in the oasis of a picture. 




You think I am making fun but it is really true that in 
western Arabia there is a house that always wears an over- 
coat. This is a large, square stone house without windows 
and with only one door to let in the light and the air; it is 
empty inside, although crowds gather around it as you see 
in the picture. Yet this house always has on an overcoat 
of black silk, very heavy and richly embroidered. Every 
year the old coat is taken off and a new one put on. A 
few days ago a Moslem pilgrim showed me a piece of the 
cloth of last year's overcoat and he was very proud of it. 
It was indeed a fine piece of heavy silk and the names of 
God and Mohammed were prettily woven into the cloth. 
This man had just come from visiting the square-house and 
I will tell you what he saw. 

The place he visited with hundreds and thousands of 
other pilgrims is called Mecca and the square-house is the 
Beit Allah or house of God to all Mohammedans. It is also 
called the Kaaba, which is the Arabic word for a cube. 

The Moslems believe all sorts of foolish things about the 
Kaaba. They say Adam built it as soon as he fell down on 
the earth out of Paradise, and that Abraham repaired it 
after it had been ruined by the flood in the days of Noah. 
They even show a large white stone on which Abraham 
and Ishmael stood when they plastered the walls; the stone 




still bears the impress of Abraham's feet, they say. Did 
you ever hear such a topsy-turvy story ? 

The building is about twenty-four cubits long and wide 
and nearly twenty cubits high. It has no ornaments or 
beauty except one rain-spout to carry the water off the flat 
roof; you can see it on the right side of the Kaaba on the 
picture. This spout is said to be of pure gold. In one 
corner of the building is a large black stone which is also 
an object of worship. The Mohammedans say it came down 
from heaven with Adam and was once pure white. By the 
many kisses of sinful worshippers it has turned black. Not 
only is it black but broken. For about three hundred years 
after Mohammed's death the stone remained imbedded in 
the walls of the Kaaba, but then some wild Arabs from the 
Persian Gulf came, sacked Mecca and stole the black stone. 
It was carried to Katif, a place near Bahrein, right across 
Arabia, and they kept it a long time until the people of 
Mecca paid a large sum of money and carried it back. On 
the long journey it must have fallen from the camel because, 
at present, it is cracked and the broken pieces are held 
together by a silver band. There once were a great many 
of these stone idols in the Kaaba, but Mohammed de- 
stroyed them all except this one when he became master 
of Mecca. 

At present the stone house is empty of idols and yet all 
the Moslems turn in the direction of this old heathen temple 
to pray. The cloth that covers it comes every year as a 
present from the Khedive of Egypt, who is a Mohammedan. 
It is very costly and is sent on a special camel, beautifully 




decked with trappings of gilt, and a large throng of pil- 
grims go along to escort the overcoat. 

When the wind stirs the heavy folds of cloth, the pious 
boys and girls of Mecca say it is the angels that watch 
around the Kaaba, whose wings lift the covering. It must 
be a wonderful sight to see thousands of Moslem pilgrims 
stand around this place and kneel and pray. 

Besides running around the Kaaba, kissing the black 
stone and drinking water from a holy well called ^em^em, 
they have one day on which they sacrifice sheep or other 
animals. One curious custom on this day of sacrifice I must 
tell you of. It is called "stoning the great devil." Early 
in the morning thousands of pilgrims go to a place in the 
valley of Mina where there are three white pillars made of 
masonry; the first and largest is called the Great Devil. 
The pilgrims cast stones at this pillar. Each one must 
stand at the distance of not less than fifteen feet and say, 
as he throws seven pebbles: "In the name of God the 
Almighty I do this, and in hatred of the devil and his 
shame." The Moslems fail to realise that Satan is in the 
hearts of men and not behind a pillar, nor that he can be 
driven away with prayer better than by pebbles. 

For thirteen hundred years Moslems have come every 
year to Mecca, and gone away, with no one ever to tell 
them of the Son of God, the Saviour of the World. Thir- 
teen hundred years! Don't you think it is time to go and 
tell them ? And will you not pray that even this place may 
open its doors to Jesus Christ, and crown Him Lord of all? 




That is to say, " Good-morning! " And the Arabs in the 
picture do not add, "have you used Pears' Soap?" but, 
"have you had your cup of Mocha coffee?" Soap is a 
luxury in most parts of Arabia and the vast majority of its 
inhabitants never use it; millions would not know it if they 
saw it. Perhaps the old Sheikh, however, used a bit of 
soap to wash his hands and feet early before sunrise when 
he went to the mosque to pray. Now he has returned and 
sits in the coffee-shop ready to take a sip of coffee and 
"drink tobacco" from the long pipe. The Arabs always 
speak of drinking tobacco when they mean to smoke; I 
suppose one reason is because they use the peculiar water- 
pipes with the long stems in which the smoke passes 
through the water and bubbles out to the mouth. Have 
you time to stop and study the picture with me ? 

What a pretty window in the corner! The Arabs call a 
window shibaak, which means network, because their 
windows are very much like a fish-net. Glass is seldom 
used in Arabia except by Europeans and Arabs who have 
become civilised; and so the carpenter or joiner fits little 
round bars, one into the other, like marbles or beads on a 
string and the result is often very beautiful. Light and air 




come in (not to speak of clouds of dust) while no one 
can look through from the outside; and you know how 
afraid Arab girls and women are to show their faces to 

Under the arch is the open fireplace where the big coffee- 
pots and water-kettles simmer all day on a charcoal fire. 
The old man looks quite cheerful seated on his uncomfort- 
able stool made of date-sticks. You will read later about 
our old friend the date-palm and how the tree is used for 
nearly every purpose. I wish I could show you how they 
take the thin branches and punch holes in them and then 
deftly, before you can count ninety, build together a chair 
or a bedstead. I have often slept soundly and safely on 
bedsteads made of these thin leaf-sticks no bigger around 
than a child's finger. The sticks are full of "spring" so 
one does not need a wire mattress, nor have I ever known 
one of them, if made honestly, to become a folding bed 
under a restless sleeper as they say happens sometimes in 
New York hotels! 

Although the old man in our picture is waited on by the 
younger Arab (who is perhaps the keeper of the cafe), yet 
I know he is not rich. Do you notice his toil-worn hands 
and the patch on the shoulder of his long overcoat ? I fancy 
too his pretty vest, so carefully buttoned by more than a 
dozen cloth buttons, is a little torn on one side; nor has he 
a fine girdle like the rich shopkeepers. 

Extremes meet in the picture and three countries widely 
apart on the map are brought close together. Of course, 
you know the coffee is the real Yemen article, which coming 





first from Mocha on the Red Sea, is still called by that 
Arabian name. The curious pipe with its round bottom, 
carved head-piece and long stem, is used everywhere in 
Arabia and is generally called " nargeelie," which is the 
Indian name for cocoanut. The bowl of the pipe is in fact 
an empty cocoanut shell; the stem once grew in the jungle 
and perhaps tigers brushed past it; now it is pierced to 
draw smoke. 

The curious pipe is from India, the tobacco first came 
from America but the coffee is Arabian. Let us listen to the 
story of the cup of coffee: In a book published in 1566 by 
an Arab scholar on the virtues of coffee it is stated that a 
knowledge of coffee was first brought to Arabia from 
Abyssinia about the year 1400 by a pious man whose tomb 
is still venerated in Yemen. The knowledge of coffee 
' spread from Yemen in south Arabia over the whole world. 
In 1690 Van Hoorne, a general of the Dutch East India 
company, received a few coffee seeds from the Arabs at 
Mocha and planted them in Batavia on the island of Java. 
In this way Mocha coffee has become the mother of Java 
and of all other kinds of coffee sold at your grocers'. Noth- 
ing can be more beautiful than the green hills and fertile 
gardens in the Arabian coffee country. The coffee berry 
grows on an evergreen tree of about eighteen feet high; its 
leaves are a beautiful dark, shining green and the blossom of 
the tree is pure white with a most delicate and fragrant odour. 
Each tree bears an enormous number of coffee-berries; a 
single tree is said to have yielded sixteen pounds! Arabia 
not only produces the finest coffee in the world, but I think 




the Arabs know how to prepare a good cup of coffee better 
than other peoples. The raw bean is roasted just before it 
is used and so keeps all its strength; it is pounded fine, 
much finer than you can grind it, in a mortar, with an iron 
pestle; lastly two smelling herbs, heyl and saffron are added 
when it is boiled just enough to give a flavour. Some fibres 
of palm bark are stuck into the spout of the coffee-pot to 
act as a strainer and then the clear brown liquid is poured 
into a tiny cup and handed to you in the coffee-shop. No 
wonder the Arab dervishes smack their lips over this, their 
only luxury. 

But how did the tobacco get into our picture ? You can 
hunt up the story for yourselves in your school histories. 
Had not Sir Walter Raleigh in 1586 introduced the weed to 
the court of Queen Elizabeth from Virginia, our picture and 
social life in Arabia would be very different. The custom 
of puffing tobacco has spread like a prairie fire and it is now 
so common in the East that very few realise it was not 
always found there. There they are all together, an Indian 
pipe, Arabian coffee and American tobacco! How much 
faster and further tobacco has travelled than the Bible; how 
many people had begun to drink Mocha before Arabia had 
a missionary! 

But, of course, nothing can travel for nothing; and some- 
body must pay the travelling expenses. America pays 
many millions more for tobacco in a year than it pays 
for missionaries. It is not surprising, therefore, that all 
Arabians smoke and only a very few have ever heard of the 
Son of God, the Saviour of the world. As Jesus Himself 




said, "the children of this world are wiser in their genera- 
tion than the children of light." When people learn to love 
missions as much and as often as they do a good cigar and 
a cup of coffee there will be no need of mite boxes. God 
hasten the day. 



It is not a very long distance from the Arab coffee-shop 
where we left our friend smoking, to the grocer. The 
streets are very narrow and unless we are very careful that 
camel will crowd us to the wall or those water-skins on the 
white donkey wet our clothes — see how they drip! Well, 
one turn more and here we are. The grocer in the picture 
on the next page is leaning on his elbow waiting for a 
customer. And if he keeps his groceries as free from 
flies and ants as he does his spotless white turban we will 
buy our day's supplies here. The shops in Arabia are 
not very large and they have no place for customers 
except outside. Sometimes there is a sort of raised seat 
or bench on which the purchaser sits when he bargains 
for something; but generally you have to stand up outside 
while the crowds push and the traffic goes on. One 
curious custom is that all the shops of one kind cluster 
close together in one street or section of the town. You 
will see for example in one street a long row of shops 
where they sell drugs and perfumery; in another place 
there are only hardware merchants; again a whole street of 
nothing but grocers. I think the reason is that Arabs love 
to bargain and to beat down prices and so it is easier to 
have all the merchants of one kind close together. At any 
rate this arrangement makes it quite convenient for the 



A R. A B I A 





purchaser. Indeed it is becoming somewhat customary 
to group the shops in this way in some of your Western 
cities. Occidental civilisation can learn some things from 

the Orient! 

Our shopkeeper has a mixed lot of groceries in his shop; 
many things which you would find at your grocers' he has 
never heard of. Everything is topsy-turvy. Just fancy 
how strange to hang up the sugar in a row of cones on 
strings like sausages! Do you see them on the ceiling of 
the shop in our picture ? That is the way white sugar comes 
wrapped from France and is sold in Arabia. A sugar barrel 
would soon be full of ants in this country; but when it 
hangs up on a string the ants have a hard time getting it 
away. Maybe there is a suggestion here for your homes if 
you are troubled with ants. 

In those big Arab baskets the grocer keeps his carrots and 
other vegetables; carrots are white in Arabia and there are 
curious vegetables of which you have never heard. 

Do you see the bottles and tin boxes on his shelves? 
Those are for spices; pepper, cinnamon, nutmegs, curry- 
powder and such things of which Arab housewives are very 


The big bowl on the left probably has olives in it or other 
kind of pickled vegetables. On the right you can see the 
big pair of old fashioned scales on which he weighs his 
wares. I hope he is an honest man, although I do not think 
he looks very honest, do you ? The scale hangs true I have 
no doubt; but it is in the weights that deception lurks. In 
Arabia we can every day see illustrations of the words of 



Solomon in the book of Proverbs about " divers weights" 
and "false balances." The most of the shopkeepers do 
not have proper weights of iron or brass, but use ordinary 
cobblestones and pebbles. Only a few days ago I bought 
some walnuts and the grocer weighed them so many stones' 
weight! Do you know what a "stone" weight is. 
Maybe you had better look it up in your dictionary. 
That covered kettle near the scale-pans on top of the 
little box contains semn, which is the Arabic name for 
sheep's fat. You would hardly believe me if I told you 
what a lot of this greasy yellow stuff the boys and girls eat 
on their rice, and how much is used in an Arab kitchen. It 
is sold by weight, just as well as all other things, even milk 
in Arabia. If we wait long enough you will see Fatimah 
and Mirjam and the other girls come with empty bowls to 
buy so many pennies' worth of grease. 

Do you notice that the shop has queer little doors on the 
lower part of the front opening ? The other part of the shop 
is closed by a flap-door that does not show on the picture. 
This is hinged from the top and is used when the shop is 
open as a sort of blind to keep off the sun or the rain. 

When the shopkeeper leaves his shop for a half hour or 
so he hangs a sort of fish-net over the opening of his shop 
and never needs to lock it. This is a curious custom, and I 
have often wondered how the shops were safe from stealing 
boys or robbers in such cases. It is one more instance of 
how different the East is from the West. 

The shopkeepers generally close their shops at sunset, 
and only in a very few places are there people who buy and 




sell or go about to do shopping by lamplight. Our grocer 
on the corner has provided for emergencies, and the large 
Arabian lantern ought to light up all his little shop. 

Across the street is the place where they sell crockery. 
The salesman is out, 
but his boy, as you 
see, has taken the op- 
portunity to eat some 
apples. I wonder 
whether he got them 
at the grocer's? 

His father sells 
water-jugs and jars 
made of porous earth. 
Oh what a blessing 
those jars are to all 
the people of this hot 
and dry country. We 
have no ice in Arabia 
and so no refrigera- 
tors; the wells are 
never very deep and 
the water comes a 
long distance. So if 
it were not for the 

crockery man and his water-jugs we could never drink cold 
water. But just pour the water in one of these earthen pots 
and hang it in the wind and then in a few minutes the 
water gets cold. We missionaries always have such 




A R A " B I A 

water-jars hanging or standing in our windows to catch the 
breeze. Perhaps this kind of water-cooler is very old, and 
Solomon himself looked at one when he wrote the words: 
" As cold waters to a thirsty soul so is good news from a 
far country." 



It was on a Sunday afternoon that I first met Blind 
Fatimah and greeted her with Salaam aleikum and she 
answered aleikum es salaam! ''Peace be to you and on 
you be peace." I asked if she could read. She said she 
could " read by heart," but could not see anything. She at 
that time could repeat twenty-six chapters of the Koran, the 
sacred book of the Mohammedans. Now I think she can 
repeat it nearly all; it contains one hundred and fourteen 
chapters. Some are very short and others are very long; 
some parts of the book are very good, but most of it is a 
jumble of events and of things that never happened— all 
mixed up topsy-turvy. 

A slave woman was Fatimah's teacher and now she is 
helper in the school of this teacher. She is the prompter, 
and always begins each sentence of the recitation, and the 
other children follow on. ■ If any mistakes are made, she 
will instantly correct them. 

She is a peculiar looking girl and she is not pretty. Her 
clothes consist of cast off garments given her by others. 
Her head is generally covered and wrapped up in a black 
muslin veil; then she has an abba or Arabian cloak of 
very green-black cashmere; then under that a many 
coloured garment called a thobe ; it is square in pattern 




with armholes and sleeves nearly a yard wide. The ends 
of these wide sleeves are deftly taken and thrown over the 
head to form a sort of tight-fitting cap. Underneath this 
garment is a kind of dressing gown with tight-fitting 
sleeves. Such is Fatimah's wardrobe. She wears no shoes, 
not even sandals. Would you like to walk in the hot sand 
with no covering for your feet ? 

Sometimes I visit the school where Fatimah teaches the 
smaller girls A, B, C. It is a topsy-turvy school indeed. 
The object seems to be to make as much noise as possible; 
the pupils sit on the floor with a small stand or trestle (like 
a saw-buck!) in front of each one to hold their Korans out 
of which they read. The first pupil begins a sentence at the 
top of his, or her, voice and then in a sort of refrain it is 
taken up by all the others. The teacher sits outside the 
school very often sewing or preparing a meal or entertaining 
visitors; for the schoolhouse is an ordinary mat hut dwell- 
ing. If however a pupil makes a mistake in reading she 
hears instantly and corrects it. 

When the hours of prayer come around (the Moslems you 
know pray five times a day) lessons are dropped. One day 
I called at the school at the time of afternoon prayer. All 
the children had run down to the sea, to wash their faces 
and hands and feet, so as to be quite pure outwardly, when 
repeating Mohammed's prayers. 

In the accompanying picture of a Moslem boy praying 
you will see what those forms are and how much form 
there is to go through. Blind Fatimah stood with her hands 
clasped, looking upward with those sightless eyes, her lips 







moving. Then she fell on her knees, with the little, thin 
hands spread out; then she bowed down until her forehead 
touched the earth, continuing in that position for a little 
time; then she got up, and with another upward look and 
motion of the lips, the devotions were ended. 

I prayed there, too, that her eyes might be opened to see 
Jesus as her own Saviour, and that she might know Him as 
the Son of God, and not merely as one of the many prophets 
mentioned in the Koran. It seemed such a sad sight to see 
this blind child, doubly blind because her religion is false, 
and she is resting on a false hope. 

She always listens when I tell her, or read to her about 
God, and Jesus Christ the Saviour. And if you would help 
together by your daily prayers, perhaps soon God will give 
the answer. Would it not be blessed for you and me if 
some day blind Fatimah should have opened eyes; not to 
see the date groves, and the sea, and the beautiful sunsets 
of Bahrein, but far more— to see Jesus' face and to follow 
Him by leading others to Him ? 

" For thousands and thousands who wander and fall, 

Never heard of that heavenly home; 
I should like them to know there is room for them all, 

And that Jesus has bid them to come. 
I long for the joy of that glorious time, 

The sweetest and brightest and best, 
When the dear little children of every clime 

Shall crowd to His arms and be blest." 




This is the sweetest chapter in the book. The pictures 
are enough to make one's mouth water and give one an ap- 
petite for Arabian dates. I do not suppose there is a boy or 
girl in England or America that has not eaten the fruit of 
the Arabian palm tree; but how many of you know the 
taste of sugar-cane ? 

In many parts of Arabia., especially at Busrah and along 
the river Tigris, you can see the sugar-cane sellers sit by the 
wayside and dispose of this Arabian stick-candy to the boys 
and girls in exchange for coppers. The woman in the 
picture has chosen the shelter of a date tree and beside the 
tall bundles of cane she has oranges for sale as well. The 
sugar-cane is cut into pieces and sold "by the knot"; that 
is, by the length of the stick from one knot to the next. It 
is not expensive and I have seen even the very poorest chil- 
dren suck their cane on the way home as happy as sugar 
can make them. The sugar-cane is a kind of grass but it 
grows to twice the height of a boy and is over two inches 
in circumference. The stems are smooth, shining and hard 
on the outside, but inside they are porous and the pores are 
full of sugar sap. The sugar-cane first came from India, 
but the Arabs spread its cultivation as far as Morocco and 
Sicily; so that it is no wonder that the word " sugar" itself 
comes from the Arabic. Yet it shows how ignorant the 






m Mm 





Arabs are to-day because, although they have sugar-cane, 
their sugar nearly all comes from Europe. They do not 
know how to manufacture it and therefore eat the sugar- 
cane raw. 

Sweeter than sugar-cane and much more plentiful is the 
date. There is no place in all Arabia where you do not see 
the date palm growing, and seldom can you eat a meal in 
any part of the country but dates are part of the bill-of-fare. 
In fact thousands of people in Arabia have nothing but dates 
to eat from January to December! So plentiful are they 
that even donkeys and camels are fed on dates in some 

Many of the dates you buy in your own country come 
from Arabia. On the best kind of dates which come in 
wooden boxes you will find Muscat or Busrah stamped to 
show from what place they were shipped. There are very 
many kinds of dates in Arabia, and only a very few sorts are 
sent abroad. Some of them are too delicate to stand the 
long voyage and others are found only in small quantities. 
I do not think any of the dates that reach America equal 
those we pick from the palm tree ourselves here in Arabia — 
no more than dried apple rings taste as good as ripe juicy 
sweet apples from the orchard. When the dates ripen in 
September they are picked, sorted, and then packed in layers 
by the Arab women and boys who get paid for this work. 
Large steamships are loaded down with these boxes and 
many of them leave Busrah every year with no other cargo 
than dates. 

The date tree is very beautiful. I think it is the most 



A R A B I A 

beautiful of all the palms. It is no wonder that a palm 
branch is the symbol of victory in the Bible and that the 
psalmist compares the life of a righteous man to a palm 


tree! How straight and beautifully proportioned is the tall 
trunk of the tree. It is an evergreen and is always flourish- 





ing winter and summer. It is a lovely sight to see the huge 
clusters of ripening fruit, golden-yellow or reddish-brown, 
amid the bright green branches. Along the rivers in the 
north of Arabia, at Hassa and in Oman, date orchards 
stretch for miles and miles as far as you can see. Some of 
the Arabs have such large date gardens that they do not 
know the number of their trees. How do you suppose 
they climb the tree? The Arabs have no ladders and in- 
deed it would be hard to make a ladder long enough to 
reach to the top of a tall palm tree. So they use a rope band 
which goes around the trunk of the tree and around their 
waist; it is shoved up little by little and the Arab puts his 
bare feet on the rough bark of the tree and so climbs up as 
easily as a monkey. The palm tree is perhaps the most 
useful tree in the world. Every part of it is used for some- 
thing or other, and I do not see how Arabia could get along 
without palm trees. The fruit is prepared in many differ- 
ent ways for food. The date stones are used by the Arab 
children in playing checkers and other games on the smooth 
sand. They are also ground up into a coarse kind of meal 
and this is good cattle-food. The branches of the date tree 
are long and strong and thin just like a piece of rattan. 
From them the carpenters make beds, tables, chairs, cradles, 
bird-cages, reading-stands, boats, crates, kites and a dozen 
other useful things. The leaves are woven into baskets, mats, 
fans and string. From the bark excellent fibre makes rope of 
all sizes. Not a bit of the tree is wasted. Even the blossoms 
are used to make a kind of drink and the old musty fruit that 
cannot be eaten is made into date syrup or date vinegar. 




In one of the pictures you see the fire wood market at 
Busrah. The long branches you see are sold for kindling 
wood and they make a splendid fire. The heavier parts of 
the tree are also used for fuel and the donkeys are loaded 
with these date knots and date sticks in baskets. It is a 
busy scene and, what with braying of donkeys and shout- 
ing of the wood-merchants, there is enough noise too. 

There is one more blessing that comes from the palm 


tree and which we have forgotten. That is shade. Arabia 
is a hot and dry country. The summer sun is much more 
piercing than in America and the summer is much longer. 
When you travel a long camel journey across the desert, oh 
how good it is to come to a grove of palm trees and rest! 
Such a place is called an oasis and underneath the palms 
there are always springs of water. I can well understand 
how happy the children of Israel were after their journey in 
the desert, when they came to Elim where "there were 



twelve wells of water and threescore and ten palm trees." 
In summer time many of the town Arabs leave their houses 
in the city and go to camp out in the date-gardens to enjoy 
the cool shades. The Arab poets have written many poems 
in praise of their favourite tree and fruit, but none of them 
are so funny as these lines which Campbell wrote from 
Algiers where the date tree also flourishes and with which 
we will end this chapter: 

"Though my letter bears date as you view 
From the land of the date-bearing palm 
1 will palm no more puns upon you." 



In the blue waters of the Persian Gulf there lies a coral 
island called Bahrein. At a few hundred yards to the 
northeast of it is a still smaller island shaped like a pack- 
saddle, where palm trees and white coral rock houses are 
reflected in the salt water at high tide. The little island 
town is called Moharrek, that is, the ''Burning Place," 
because it is very hot there in summer. After sailing 
across in a boat one day, and wending our way through a 
dirty bazar full of flies and Arabs, we were directed to the 
house of the man called "The Shepherd of the Sewing 
Machine." His real name is Mohammed bin Sooltaan, but 
nobody knows him by any other name or title than Rdee 
el karhhan, which literally means shepherd of the sewing 
machine. Let me tell you his story and how he got that 
queer name. 

Years ago, as pilot on the native boats that sail from 
Bahrein to Bombay, Calcutta, Zanzibar and Jiddah, he had 
experience of a wider world than the little island where he 
was born. But the life was a hard one and his wages 
were small. Moreover, the coming of steamships up the 
Gulf took away the profit of the sailing craft, and so Mo- 
hammed fared from bad to worse. He loved an Arab lass 
with plaited, well-greased locks of hair and a pleasant face, 




but her father asked a larger dowry than he could ever 

An Arab young man must always pay a good price to 
the father of his sweetheart before he is allowed to marry 
her. But this Mohammed was too poor to pay the price 
asked. What a queer topsy-turvy custom it is for a man 
to buy his wife just as he buys a horse or a camel! The 
Arabs often ask how much a wife costs in America and 
wonder that we are not allowed by the Christian laws to 
send away our wives and marry others. 

Mohammed could not stay at home so he once more 
went in a ship to Jiddah, the port to Mecca, where pilgrims 
from all the Moslem world exchange thought and money 
for bad bread and fanaticism. And yet even here the 
civilisation of the West tries to enter. Wandering through 
the bazars Mohammed for the first time saw a sewing 
machine in the hands of an Indian tailor. A marvel to the 
sailor fisherman, indeed! Almost as great a miracle to him 
as the Koran. The more he looked the more he coveted, 
and he could not pass the place without reckoning up the 
possible profits of such an investment should he return with 
it to his native island. The result was that he forswore the 
sea and preferred another kind of wheel to that of the pilot. 
With many mutual wallahs the bargain was concluded and 
the machine reached Bahrein. It was the first on the 
islands, and all the sheikhs came to see its marvellous build 
and wonderful work. Mohammed has a Western head on 
Eastern shoulders, and there was not a screw or tension 
from treadle to shuttle, which he did not learn the use of. 




It is unnecessary to state at the cost of how many broken 
needles he became proficient. Amid cries of ajeeb, ajeeb, 
the first Arab shirt was stitched together, and even the 
youngsters on the street imitated the whirrr-clic-whirrr of 
the machine. As for Mohammed, he sewed on, and while 
his sandalled feet worked the treadle his mind worked out 
a problem something like this: Three long-shirts a day 
and an abba, at one kran per shirt and two for the abba, 
thirty-five krans per week, how long will it take to pay the 
dowry ? An abba is a large over-garment worn by both 
men and women in Arabia. It is like a cape or overcoat 
but has no sleeves nor buttons. The Arabs in Bahrein put 
a great deal of pretty embroidery work on these garments 
and some of them are worth twenty or thirty dollars. But 
the sewing is done very cheaply. A kran is a Persian coin 
worth about ten cents; can you figure out how much Mo- 
hammed earned in a month ? 

The Shepherd of the Machine kept working away and 
when his hopes grew strong he sang at his work. In a few 
months he paid a visit to the Mullah (the Moslem priest or 
teacher), and that same night the Arab fiddles and drums 
rang out merry music around the palm-leaf hut of his be- 
loved bride. But the music of the machine sounded still 
sweeter next morning. Daily bread, with rice, fish and 
dates, and on rare occasions even mutton, all came out of 
the machine. He loved the very iron of it and, as he told 
us, read a prayer over it every morning: Bismillahi er rah- 
man er raheem. His was the only machine, and a small 
monopoly soon makes a capitalist. His palm branch hut 




was exchanged for a house of stone; and Allah blessed him 
greatly. No shepherd was ever more tender to his little 
lambs than Mohammed to the old machine. 

When we entered the house on our first visit, there stood 
the machine! Not much the worse for wear, and with 
" Pfaff. C. Theodosius, Constantinople," still legible on the 
nickel-plate. But the old machine had found a rival. By 
its side stood another make of machine which looked 
strangely familiar to American eyes. It was while compar- 
ing the machines and drinking Arab coffee that we learned 
from Mohammed why he prized the old one as better. 
"Wallah," he said, "I would not sell it for many times its 
original price. There is blessing in it, and all I have comes 
from that machine, praise be to Allah." And so we sipped 
his cups and heard his story and ceased to wonder why he 
was called the Shepherd of the Sewing machine. The 
shepherd has a brother who wants to learn English and 
goes to Bombay every year — but that is another story. 

There are many other sewing machines in Bahrein now, 
but Mohammed's was the first, and he introduced the others. 
Do you not think that he should be called the Christopher 
Columbus of Bahrein tailors? 




About one-third of Topsy-turvy Land is desert and is the 
home of those Arabs that wander about from place to place 
and are called nomads or Bedouin. The word Bedouin 
means a desert-dweller. But you must not think that a 
desert is a flat country covered with a deep layer of sand 
without trees or shrubs. Oh no! There are such deserts 
in Arabia too, but the greater part of what is called desert is 
much more attractive and is only desert because it has no 
settled population and no villages. The soil is often very 
good and in springtime after the rains the whole of 
northern Arabia (where most of the nomads pitch their 
tents) is one vast prairie of wild flowers and green grass. 
The Arabs of the North are rich in flocks and herds. I am 
sure you can still find some who, like Job, have seven 
thousand sheep and three thousand camels and a very great 
household. They all live in tents and the tents of Arabia 
are not white and round like circus tents but jet black and 
square or oblong. You remember the Bible always speaks 
of the black tents of Kedar. They are black because they 
are woven from goat's hair which is used also for their 
garments and is almost as good a waterproof covering as 
india rubber. But when you have to spend a long hot day 
under such a roof as I have done you feel sorry for the 
Arabs that they have no better protection against the blazing 




sun. Everything is home-made and clumsy, but shall I tell 
you what I have found ? There is no warmer hospitality 
in all the wide world than in these tents of Kedar. A few 
weeks ago I spent a Sabbath day resting by the way in one 
of these tents. The women brought water to cool my head ; 
a great bowl of camel's milk was our drink even before they 
asked our errand; and at night they killed a fat kid and 
made a guest meal fit for an epicure. 

The Arabs of the desert are more ignorant than those of 
the towns, but they are much kinder to strangers and treat 
their wives and children better. Their life is rather mo- 
notonous, but they enjoy it. Like the American Indians they 
prefer a tent to a house, and would rather change their home 
every day than settle down as farmers. When pasture fails 
for their flocks of sheep the chief gives notice and on the 
morrow the whole camp has moved away. Some tribes 
move every month and go for a long distance to find fresh 

The Bedouin are divided into many tribes and clans. 
Some of them are friendly to each other but nearly all are at 
war with one another all the year round. Robbery and 
murder are very frequent. Every one goes armed with a 
long spear or with a gun, and many carry a war club and a 
sword as well. The largest Arab tribes and the wealthiest 
are the Anae\e and the Shommar. They have many fine 
horses. In the picture you see a group of them armed with 
their long spears. The spear of the leader is ornamented 
with a tuft of ostrich feathers; these spears are often over 
twelve feet long and have a sharp steel lance at the end. 




The Arabs are fond of games, especially galloping their 
horses and playing at war. They are very skillful riders and 
kind to their steeds; they do not spend much time in 
grooming them and they never use a whip and seldom a 
bit. Their bridle is like our halter strap, and the horse is 
so well trained that he needs no iron bit in his mouth. 

One of the most interesting of all the Arab tribes is called 
the Suleibi. They are despised by all the other Arabs and 
seem to be of a different race. The women of this tribe are 
remarkable for their beauty and the men for their skill as 
blacksmiths and tinkers. They are always sought after to 
do the tinkering for the Arabs of all other tribes. They 
have no camels or horses but ride little donkeys and dress 
in gazelle skins. Some people think that this tribe is a 
remnant of the Christian population of Arabia; they have 
many curious beliefs and their name means, " Those-of-the- 
Cross." Perhaps some day a missionary will bring them 
back to a true knowledge of the Crucified One. 

The nomads of Arabia are happy in springtime when 
there is enough grass for their flocks and the wells of the 
desert are full of water. But after the long summer drought 
there is often a great scarcity of food and even famine in 
many parts of Arabia. Then the nomads eat anything and 
drink the brackish water from the bottom of a mud pool 
with relish. In no country in the world is water so costly 
as in Arabia; nowhere is it so carefully used: an Arab never 
wastes a drop of water and looks surprised and pained 
when an European traveller rinses out a cup before drink- 
ing! The nomad Arabs eat locusts and wild honey as did 



A R A B I A 

John the Baptist. But I have also seen them eat the big 
lizards of the desert and the jerboas — a sort of desert rat. 
An Arab once stood amidst a circle of jewellers at Busrah 
and said: "On one occasion I had missed my way in the 
desert, and having no road-provision left, I had given my- 
self up for lost, when all at once 1 found a bag of pearls. 
Never shall I forget that relish and delight so long as I mis- 


took them for parched wheat; nor that bitterness and disap- 
pointment when I discovered that they were real pearls!" 
This story is told by a Persian poet and although it may not 
be true yet it teaches a lesson. To a hungry man a handful 
of wheat is better than all the pearls of the ocean. 

In his tent the Arab is very lazy. His only occupation is 
feeding his horses or milking his camels. The Arab girls 




go out to take care of the flocks while the wife performs all 
the domestic duties. She grinds wheat in the hand-mill; 
kneads and bakes bread; makes butter by shaking the milk 
in a leather bag; fetches water in a skin; works at the 
loom and is busy all the time. The Arab smokes his pipe, 
drinks coffee and talks to his friends; unless he is on the 
march or on a robbery excursion his 
life seems very lazy. 

Scarcely any of the Bedouin can 
read, and they have neither schools 
nor mosques. The Bedouin some- 
times say, "Mohammed's religion 
cannot have been intended for us; it 
demands washings, but we have no 
water; alms, but we have no money; 
pilgrimage to Mecca, but we are 
always wandering and God is every- 
where." Yet outwardly they ob- 
serve the Moslem religion of which 
they know so little. In our next 
chapter you will read how earnestly 
even the nomad children pray in the 
desert. And I believe God loves these sons of Ishmael 
and will yet bring them back to Abraham's faith. Don't 
you think so too ? 





For many days the sailing craft from Bahrein had been 
unloading Indian wares at the port of Ojeir on the Hassa 
coast, and for many hours the busy throng of Bedouin 
drivers and merchants and onlookers were loading the cara- 
van, emphasising their task or their impatience with great 
oaths, almost as guttural and angry as the noise of the 
camels. At length, with the pious cry of Tawakalna, " we 
have trusted in God," they are off. 

A caravan is composed of companies, and while the 
whole host numbered seven hundred camels, with mer- 
chants and travellers and drivers, our company from Ojeir 
to Hofhoof counted only six. There was Salih and Nasir, 
a second son of the desert, both from Riad; a poor unfortu- 
nate lad with stumpy hands and feet, who limped about on 
rag shoes and seemed quite happy; there was Noorah and 
her sister, and lastly, the missionary. 

But for the shuffling of the desert sand and the whack of 
a driving stick the caravan marched in silence. The sun 
shone full in our faces as it slowly sank in the west, its last 
rays coloured the clouds hanging over the lowlands of 
Hassa a bright red, and when it disappeared we heard the 
sheikhs of the companies, one after the other, call to prayer. 
Only a part of the caravan responded. The Turkish soldiers 
on horseback kept on their way; the most pious of the mer- 




chants had already urged their beasts ahead of the rest and 
had finished a duty that interfered with a speedy journey 
and the first choice of location at the night encampment; 
some excused themselves by quoting a Koran text, and 
others took no notice of the call. Not so the Bedouin child 
Noorah and her younger sister. They had trudged on foot 
four long hours, armed with sticks to urge on that lazy 
white camel, always loitering to snatch a bite of desert- 
thorn with his giant jaws. A short time before sunset I 
saw the two children mount the animal by climbing up its 
neck, as only Arabs can, but now, at call to prayer they de- 
voutly slipped down. Hand in hand they ran ahead a short 
distance, shuffled aside some sand with their bare feet, 
rubbed some on their hands, (as do all pious Moslems in the 
absence of water), faced Mecca, and prayed. 

As they did then, so at sunrise and at noon and at four 
o'clock and sunset and when the evening star disappeared — 
five times a day — they prayed. It is not true, as is generally 
supposed, that women in Moslem lands do not pray. Only 
at Mecca, as far as I know, of all Arabia, are they allowed a 
place in the public mosques, but at home a larger per cent, 
observe the times of prayer than do the men. 

When Noorah had ended her prayer and resumed the task 
of ^belabouring the white camel, she turned to me with a 
question, " Laish ma tesully anta ?" which with Bedouin 
bluntness means, " You, why don't you pray ?" The ques- 
tion set me musing half the night; not, I confess, about my 
own prayers, but about hers. Why did Noorah pray ? 
What did Noorah pray ? Did she understand that 




Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear, 
The upward glancing of the eye when only God is near, 

as well as the dead formalism of the mosque ? How could I 
answer her question in a way that she might well under- 
stand ? And if hers, too, was a sincere prayer, as I believe, 
— the prayer of an ignorant child of the desert, — did she 
pray words or thoughts ? What do Noorah and her more 
than two million Bedouin sisters ask of God five times daily ? 
Leaving out vain repetitions, this is what they say: 

"In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate; 
Praise be to God who the two worlds made; 
Thee do we entreat and Thee do we supplicate; 
Lead us in the way the straight, 
The way of those whom Thou dost compassionate, 
Not of those on whom is hate 
Nor those that deviate. Amen." 

It is the first chapter of the Koran and is used by Moslems 
as we use the Lord's Prayer. The words are very beautiful 
I think, don't you? 

Whether Noorah understood what she asked I know not; 

but to me who saw and heard in the desert twilight, (as 

under like conditions to you), the prayer was full of pathos. 

The desert! where God is, and where but for His mercy 

and compassion death and solitude would reign alone; the 

desert, a world of its own kind, a sea of sand, with no life 

in it except the Living One, and over it only His canopy of 

stars— God of the two worlds! And to that God, than 

whom there is no other, and whom they ignorantly wor- 




ship, these sons and daughters of outcast Ishmael bow their 
faces in the dust and five times daily entreat and supplicate 
to be led aright in the way of truth. 

They ask to be directed into the straight way, but oh 
how crooked is the way of God which Mohammed taught 
in his book! Sadder still, what a crooked way it is that 
the Moslems walk! Impure words, lying lips, hands that 
steal and feet that run after cruelty — these are what chil- 
dren in Arabia possess. But I dare say that some of them 
are really sorry for their sins and when they pray like 
Noorah in the desert they want to have peace and pardon. 
Are they looking unconsciously perhaps for the footprints 
in the desert of One who said, "I am the Way, the Truth 
and the Life" ? 

Alas, Noorah and her many sisters (your sisters, too) 
have never seen His beauty nor heard of His love! They 
do not know that the "way of those whom Thou dost 
compassionate" is the new and living way through Christ's 
cross and death. They are ignorant of the awful word, 
"He that believeth not on the Son shall not see life, but 
the wrath of God abideth on him." Has God the Merciful 
then not heard Noorah's prayer? Will He not answer 
it ? Is His mercy to these children of Abraham clean gone 
forever? How long they have waited and how many of 
the desert children are now sleeping in little desert graves! 
Do you not think God wants you to carry the gospel to 
them and send them teachers to learn the way of Jesus ? 

Think of Noorah's question, " You, why don't you 
pray?" Think of Christ's words, "Go tell quickly." 




"Arabia the Loved." 

There's a land since long neglected, 

There's a people still rejected, 
But of truth and grace elected, 

In His love for them. 

Softer than their night wind's fleeting, 
Richer than their starry tenting, 

Stronger than their sands protecting, 
Is His love for them. 

To the host of Islam's leading, 
To the slave in bondage bleeding, 

To the desert dweller pleading, 
Bring His love to them. 

Through the promise on God's pages, 
Through His work in history's stages, 

Through the cross that crowns the ages, 
Show His love to them. 

With the prayer that still availeth 
With the power that prevaileth, 

With the love that never faileth, 
Tell His love to them. 

Till the desert's sons now aliens, 
Till its tribes and their dominions, 

Till Arabia's raptured millions, 

Praise His love of them. — J. G. L. 



You already know many curious facts about the people 
of Topsy-turvy Land. Would you like to hear something 
about their language and their writing? The language of 
this land is very old, almost as old as its camels or its 
desert sands. The Moslems even go so far as to say that 
Adam and Eve spoke Arabic in Paradise and they say it is 
called the language of the angels. It is written from right 
to left just in the opposite way of this page of English 
writing. The Arabic alphabet has twenty-eight letters, all 
of which are considered consonants. There are marks put 
above and below the line to show the sounds of the vowels; 
just as we wrote the word potato in our first chapter. 

Arabic grammar is much more difficult than English 
grammar, and even the boys who attend the big Arabic 
college of El Azhar in Cairo, Egypt, must find its study a 
bugbear. Just think of learning fifteen conjugations instead 
of the much smaller number in Latin or Greek! The books 
used in Moslem schools would look very crude and dull to 
you who learnt your A, B, C, from an illustrated primer 
perhaps with coloured pictures. 

Strict Mohammedans do not allow their boys and girls to 
have pictures in their books, because they say all pictures 
are idols. And yet the love for beauty and the desire for 
ornament on the written or printed page was so strong 



A R A B I A 

with the Arabs that they began from the earliest times to 
use their alphabet to make arabesques. Arabesque is a big 
word and it really means an Arab picture. But these pic- 
tures of the Arabs (which you find on the arches of old 
mosques, in books and on tombstones) are ornaments or 
designs made out of the beautifully curved letters of the 
alphabet. The old Arab copyists and their sculptors wrote 
and carved the words of the Koran, or the names of God, 
etc., in all sorts of ways to make pictures out of words only, 
lest they break the law of their prophet. Here are two 
examples of how pictures can be made out of letters. 


You have all doubtless heard of a " wordless book"; and 
some of you have books without words and full of pic- 
tures. Here is a picture made out of the Arabic alphabet, 
and every curve and dot belongs to the words so curiously 
written. I copied them out of an Arabic treatise on pen- 
manship, for you. The face is not at all pretty, and yet 
Moslem lads think it is very clever to bring this likeness of 
man out of the four names, Allah, Mohammed, All and 
Hassan. These words you notice are written twice, both 




to the left and to the right. What a disgrace to the holy 
name of God to put that of three Arabs with it in a mono- 
graph! It is very sad to hear some Moslems say that they 
trust in these people to intercede for them with God. If 
you have read what sinful lives these people led when they 
were the chief rulers in Arabia, you will almost agree with 
me in calling this first picture a Moslem idol. 

There are many Moslems in Bahrein who have hanging 
up in their rooms these monograms or designs. One 
favourite I have often seen contains only five names: 
Allah, Mohammed, AH, Hassan and Hussein. The people 
who make so much of these descendants of Mohammed 
are called Shiahs ; the other Moslems who think they are 
more orthodox are called Sunnites. 

What do you think of our second picture? Is not 
the design very pretty for an embroidery pattern? The 
motto is written twice; once from the right and once 
backward from the left, the same as in the other picture. 
The words are taken from the Koran and are as true as they 
are beautiful. Man yatlawakil ala Allah fa hooa hasbahoo ; 
which means, "Whoever trusts in God will find Him suf- 
ficient." That surely contradicts the other picture, does it 
not? And yet they are both from the same copy-book. 
There are many contradictions in the religion of Mohammed. 
I only hope that when Christ's gospel has conquered Arabia, 
the name of Jesus will be written on every mosque and in 
every heart; then contradiction will give way to the truth, 
and whoever trusts in Christ will find Him sufficient. 

Would it not be nice to make something pretty for use in 




the home or in the Sunday-school, and embroider the 
Arabic words on it ? It would be a constant reminder of 
Arabia and of the beautiful motto— only an Arabic version 
of Paul's words, Our sufficiency is of God. 

Our last illustration to close this chapter is an example of 
Arabic every-day penmanship. It was written in the moun- 
tains of Oman, and is a letter from a poor cripple asking for 
a copy of the Psalms and other books. It was sent to our 
brother Peter J. Zwemer a year before he died, when he was 
on a missionary journey in Oman. 






If Jesus Himself, on one occasion, said, "Show me a 
penny," and preached a sermon from it, surely we may 
follow his example and learn something from these strange 
coins which you see in the pictures at the beginning and end 
of this chapter. The coin on this page comes from Oman, 
the home of the Arabian camel and one of its most fertile 
provinces. Perhaps some of the boys and girls can tell 
where Oman is and give its boundaries without looking in 
the geography, but I am sure none of you can read the 
inscription on the penny, and tell what it all means. Who 
is Fessul bin Turkee ? What is an Imam ? How much is 


one-quarter of an Anna ? And when did this queer coin 
come fresh from the mint ? 

Let us begin at the beginning. Fessul bin Turkee, 
the present ruler of Oman, lives in a large, tumble-down 
old castle in Muscat, and his big red flag waves over the 
town every Friday, the Mohammedan Sabbath. He is not 




much better nor worse than his father, Turkee, or than 
other rulers in Arabia, but he certainly is far more enter- 
prising, and is generally liked by the Arabs of Muscat. He 
is not however in all respects a merciful ruler. When I 
visited Muscat a few years ago this petty king had a real 
lion's den, like Nebuchadnezzar, and the story goes that he 
sometimes used it in the same way to get rid of his enemies. 
He once had a steam-launch, and even put up an electric 
light on the top of his castle, but both of these modern 
improvements came to grief. He also started a small ice 
factory to supply his household with cold water when the 
thermometer rises to over one hundred degrees; but the 
expense was too great and so the project melted away like- 
wise. His last venture is more successful, and ever since 
the ice factory added a P to its sign-board and became a 
"pice factory," copper coins have been plentiful in Oman. 
A pice is the Indian name for a small copper coin, and the 
Arabs borrowed the word, with many other words, from 
the Hindu traders. The Sultan has plenty of wives and 
horses and retainers; his castle is well-supplied with old 
cannon and modern rifles; huge coffee-pots pour out cheap 
hospitality every day; but withal I do not think he is very 
happy, for he is in debt and his power is not as extensive 
as it was once. Fessul's proper title is not Sultan, although 
he is often so called, but Imam, which signifies religious 
leader. It is the old title given to the political chiefs of 
Oman and Zanzibar. 

The word means one " who stands before,'' and was first 
used as a title for the leader of prayer in the mosques. In 




Oman the religious chiefs soon took hold of politics, and so 
the title has a significance now in this part of Arabia that it 
never had elsewhere. 

Let us get back to the penny. Its face (although being a 
Mohammedan coin it really has no human face because their 
religion forbids pictures) bears an English as well as an Arabic 
inscription. The opposite side only has the Sultan's name 
in Arabic. On the side that has the English words is the 
legend: "Struck at Muscat in the year 1315." Yet the 
penny is only three years old, for the Moslems begin to date 
their years from the Hegira, or flight of their prophet from 
Mecca to Medina. This took place in the year 622 a. d. 
But we must also remember that their year is several days 
shorter than ours, because they have lunar months all of 
equal length and only 360 days in a year. 

How strange it is to read such an old date for such a 
recent year as 1899, since we count time from the birth of 
Christ! But you must remember that the False Prophet has 
had it all his own way in Arabia for thirteen hundred years, 
and that the missionaries in this country are very few 
indeed. Only for a very few years and in a very few places 
has Christ been preached. 

Now, however, even this queer little penny can bear 
witness to the fact that the gospel has come to Oman. It 
is worth one-quarter of an anna; there are sixteen annas in 
a rupee, and a rupee is worth about thirty-three cents. Not 
a big value, is it ? But for four of these coins the poorest 
boy in Muscat can buy a complete gospel of Matthew. The 
shopkeeper must take in a great many of them, for last 




year one thousand four hundred and thirty-three such gospels 
and other portions of the Bible were sold in this part of 
Arabia and paid for by these coppers. 

Another interesting fact to notice is that part of the 
inscription on the coin is English. Coming events cast 
their shadows before. England's power in checking the 
cruel slave trade and rooting out piracy on the coasts of 
Arabia has made its influence felt. An English primer is 
sure to follow a penny with an English motto, and some 
day our mission will have a school at Muscat for Arab boys 
and girls, as well as for rescued slaves. Your American 
pennies and your prayers will help to bring it about. 
Moreover, do you not think that if they keep on buying 
gospels and reading them, Jesus Christ will some time be 
the true Imam of Muscat and Oman ? 

The other coin is 
the only old coin 
that is at present 
current in Arabia, 
and I leave you to 
decide whether it is 
not the oddest and 
queerest penny you 
have ever seen. 
The first time I saw 
these queer black- 
smith-nail coins was in 1893, when I made a visit to Hof- 
hoof, the capital of the province of Hassa, in Eastern 

Arabia. The people used them, as we do pennies, for all 








small purchases, but I fear such a pointed coin must have 
been harder on their pockets than our round coins. It is 
called the Taweelah, or long-bit, and consists of a small 
copper-bar of about an inch in length, split at one end and 
with the fissure slightly opened. The coin has neither date 
nor motto, although one can yet occasionally find silver 
coins of like shape with the Arabic motto: "Honour to 
the sober man, dishonour to the ambitious." The coin, 
although it has no date, was undoubtedly made by one of 
the Carmathian rulers about the year 920 a. d. This was 
more than five hundred years before Columbus discovered 
America! The Carmathians were a very fanatical sect of 
Moslems. You remember reading in chapter three how 
they took the black stone from Mecca ? 

Well, these people had this province as the centre of their 
power and here they struck these peculiar coins. I have 
heard it said that they were so opposed to images and faces 
on money that their leader devised this long bar-like shape 
for his coins to prevent any one from making images on 

At any rate the Carmathians were very brave warriors. 
When Abu Tahir, their first leader, attacked Bagdad with 
only 500 horsemen he was met by a messenger from the 
city saying that 30,000 soldiers were guarding the gates. 
"Yes," said Abu Tahir, "but among them all there are not 
three such as these." At the same instant he turned to 
three of his companions commanding one to plunge a 
dagger into his own breast, another to leap into the rushing 
Tigris river and the third to cast himself down a precipice. 




They obeyed without a murmur. " Relate," continued the 
general, "what you have just seen; before evening your 
leader shall be chained among my dogs." No wonder that 
with such absolute obedience, the Carmathians terrified all 
Arabia with their army. 

As I handle their old coins and think of the past, I some- 
times wonder how much Our Great Captain, Christ Jesus 
would accomplish had He soldiers equally obedient and 
brave as did the Carmathian general, in redeeming Arabia 
from its long darkness and bloodshed. It is nineteen hun- 
dred years ago that He commanded us: "Go ye into all 
the world and preach the gospel." 

But even now there is no one preaching the gospel in 
Hassa nor in all the interior of Arabia. Why ? 




An Arab baby is such a funny little creature! In Chris- 
tian lands babies, as soon as possible, are given a warm 
bath and dressed with comfortable clothing. But in Arabia 
the babies are not washed for many days, only rubbed over 
with a brown powder and their tiny eyelids painted round 
with collyrium. They are wound up in a piece of calico 
and tied up with a string, just like a package of sugar. 
Their arms are fastened by the bandage so that they cannot 
possibly move them. The Arab mothers say that if the 
arms and legs of babies were left hanging loose the poor 
things would never sleep, A small, tight bonnet for the 
head completes the baby's wardrobe. A few blue beads or 
buttons are sewn on the front of this cap to keep off the 
evil-eye, for Moslem women all believe that if a stranger 
looks at a baby it may turn sick and die. 

On the day when the baby is named a sacrifice is slain 
and eaten and silver offerings are given to the poor, equal 
to the weight of hair on the infant's head. The poor baby's 
hair is all shaved off to be weighed in the balance. Poor 
people who cannot afford this offering omit the custom. 
Charms are placed on the arms or around the neck of 
the child. A few verses from the Koran are written out 
and put in a leather or silver case and also tied around the 
arm or neck of the baby. If the child shows signs of ill— 




ness the mother makes it swallow some of the Koran. 
That is, a portion is written out and the ink is washed off 
with water and this dirty water is taken by the patient. A 
prescription was sent to me once when I was ill by a Mos- 
lem mullah, or teacher, of this character and he was quite 
certain I would recover if I drank it. I am glad to say I got 
better without the ink medicine. 

When the baby is forty days old and has received its 
name a new date-stick cradle is triumphantly brought home 


from the market and the new baby placed in it. And then 
Master or Miss Arab will get such a violent rocking that no 
Christian baby could stand. The ground is uneven, for 
there are no wooden floors in Arabia, and the rockers are 
nearly straight so that you can imagine it is not the pleas- 
antest thing in the world to be rocked in an Arab cradle. In 
the picture you can see just what a date-stick cradle is like. 




Arab babies cry a great deal; what with sand storms and 
flies and other insects they generally have sore eyes and 
apparently need strong treatment to make them quiet and 
give their mothers and sisters time to grind the wheat and 
churn the butter. Everything is made fresh each day in an 
Arab household. The rice must be cooked for the daily 
meal, the wheat ground for bread, and the milk put into 
the leather churn. These people have no ice chest, not even 
cupboards, many of them, so the coffee is freshly roasted 
and pounded in a mortar for breakfast. The flour is taken 
to the hand-mill and butter comes out of the churn every 
day fresh. Then the mother will have to draw the daily 
supply of water and wash the few clothes at the well. 
The better classes have their slaves to do the hard work but 
the Bedouin women and the poor have to do all the toil and 
never get a rest. Rich and poor are alike in not having any 
intellectual pleasures. Few can read and even those who 
can read, are able to read only the Koran and the Moslem 
traditions. The children have no primers or picture-books, 
and no Arab mother ever has a newspaper or a magazine. 
She has never heard of such things. Arab women do not 
know anything of the many interests and pleasures that 
occupy the time of women in Christian lands. 

Would you like to know how they make bread in 
Arabia? First the wheat is sifted and cleaned and then 
it is put into one of the hand-mills. It consists of an 
upper and nether millstone with a hole in the upper one 
and a wooden handle. Two women usually sit and 
grind because the stone is heavy and they love to talk 




while they work. One swings it half way and the other 
pulls it around. Then the coarse flour is taken out and put 
into a bowl with water and salt and mixed to the right con- 




sistency. A piece of this dough is then taken between the 
hands and gradually beaten until it is about the thickness of 
a book cover and twelve inches in diameter — a round, flat 
cake of dough. The oven is usually under ground and is 
shaped like a large jar with the mouth above the ground a 
little. A fire is built inside the oven and when the sides of 
the oven are quite hot the fire is allowed to die out. Then 
the large pan cakes of bread are deftly clapped on to the 
side of the oven until the space is covered and one by one 
the cakes are taken out when done. In some houses they 
have a shallow oval pan which is placed over an open fire 
and on this the cakes are baked. The pan is put on the fire 
upside down, so even here we are again in Topsy-turvy Land. 
Twenty or thirty of these flat loaves are baked at one time, 
for a hungry Arab can eat five or six at one meal. 

Now the men come in to eat the food that the housewife 
has prepared. With a short prayer called bismillah they 
begin and then shove the rice and meat or the bread and 
gravy into their mouths as fast as they can. Whatever is 
left when the men get through is for the women. You can 
see a group of Arab women in the picture eating their meal 
from one common dish in front of their tent. They use 
their hands instead of spoons or forks but get along very 
well and always wash before and after their simple meal. 

Now the women always have to wait on their husbands 
and eat by themselves. When things get right side up in 
this dark land we hope to see the whole family sitting 
down together and taking their meal with joy and thanks- 



Sinbad the sailor died long ago but the sea he sailed is 
still called the Persian Gulf and is just as full of curious 
islands as it was in his time. The boats are also just like 
Sinbad's and the sailors sing the same songs, I think, for 
there are very few changes in the almost changeless East. 
The Bahrein harbour-boat is built on the islands, out of 
timber from India and masts from Ceylon. But the sail- 
cloth and the ropes are made on this our island home. All 
boats of this kind carry a good lot of passengers, draw 
very little water and are fast sailing craft; so that even the 
American boy whose father owns a yacht would not speak 
with contempt of one of these boats. In fact I have heard 
English sea captains who had drunk salt water for years 
say that they never saw better harbour boats in a storm 
than these of Bahrein. 

In another kind of boat the pearl-divers of the Gulf go 
out to their hard toil and costly labour. One of them 
costs about four hundred rupees, that is about one hundred 
and thirty dollars. You do not think that is dear, do you, 
for a boat that holds a crew of twenty ? But the cost 
of diving for pearls is not in the boat or the apparatus; 
it costs lives. Many of the divers are eaten by sharks 
before they return with the year's pearl harvest; others 
lose limbs and health. I wish you could see the odd 



A R A B I A 

shaped oars the Arabs use in these boats. They consist of 
a round pole with a sort of barrel-head or spoon shaped 
board tied to one end. The boat builders always use twine 
and rope rather than nails or screws to put their boats to- 
gether. The boys of Bahrein can make beautiful sailing 
boats to play with out of bits of date-stick and strings. 


Each fishing boat has a sort of figure-head and this is 
generally covered with the skin of a sheep or goat. This 
animal is sacrificed on the day when the boat is first 
launched, just as we give the boat a name and put flags on 
it. It is a very old custom to offer a blood sacrifice when a 
boat is first put into the water. 




Not only in the villages on the coasts of the Red Sea and 
the Persian Gulf are there boat builders and sailors; Arabia 
has two large rivers that help to make its northern boundary 
and they are highways of traffic. 

Our picture shows a river boat on the canal at Busrah. It 
goes the long journey from Busrah to Bagdad over five 
hundred miles or even to Hillah and the other towns on the 
Euphrates river. This kind of boat has a cabin in the bow 
and can carry a large cargo of wheat or wool. It sails by 
all the interesting country which was once the home of 
Abraham and is still called Mesopotamia. 

The largest boats used by the Arabs are called dhows or 
buggalows. You will hear something more about these 
boats in the chapter on the slave trade. 

The carpenters of Arabia, like the boat builders, work in 
a very old-fashioned way. But they are much less skillful 
in their work. You often see well-built boats but never a 
well-made door or a window that shuts properly. Perhaps 
the fault is with their tools and perhaps they are not as 
skillful as they once were in using them. 

The Arab carpenter uses no bench or vise; he squats upon 
the ground in the shade of some old building or tree and 
carries all his tools in a small basket with him. He has 
four hands instead of- the two hands of an American 
carpenter, for his feet are bare and he can work as well 
with his toes as you can with your fingers. It is wonderful 
to see how an Arab carpenter can hold a board with his 
toes while his hands are busy sawing or planing it! 

I never see one of these carpenters using his toes so 




cleverly without thinking that we who wear shoes and 
stockings and only use our feet for walking have lost one of 
the powers that the Arabs still possess, A carpenter's 
handsome handiwork in Arabia should be called his toesome 
toey-work; don't you think so ? In the picture at the end of 
this chapter you see an Arab carpenter's tools. His saw is 
exactly opposite to an ordinary saw as the teeth all point 
the wrong way! But you know he pulls the tool so it is 


all right. The plane has four handles instead of one. The 
gimlet is like ours but instead of a brace and bit to make 
holes, the Arab uses a fiddle-string stretched on a bow 



which he twists once or twice around his borer, or auger- 
bit. Then he fiddles away until he has made a hole. 

It is very strange to see two Arab carpenters sawing a 
beam as you find them in the picture. 

Time is not valuable in the East because the days are long 
and life is easy and the people are never in a hurry. Never 
do anything to-day that can be done to-morrow is their 
motto. So they spend a half hour in fixing the beam on a 
tripod; then they pull and push and push and pull the great 
clumsy saw blade up and down and in an hour or so the 
beam is cut in two. What would such carpenters say if 
they were to visit an American sawmill and see the gang- 
saw cut six boards out of a log at once just as easy as youi 
mother cuts a cheese ? Arabia and its carpenters are very 
far behind us in civilisation. The whole country is in need 
of schools and industrial missions so that the Arab boys 
may learn to handle tools and make furniture and build 

In America there is hardly a boy living but he can drive a 




nail and saw off a board and put up a shelf. In Arabia only 
carpenters' sons can do these things; the ordinary boy does 
not even know how to use a jack-knife; he never had one. 
A short definition of Arabia would be "a land without 
tools." Ritter, the great geographer, calls Arabia "the 
anti-industrial centre of the world," which is only the same 
definition in other words. 



The people of Topsy-turvy Land, like all orientals, are 
very fond of proverbs and short, bright sayings. You know 
that even to-day there are men who go about in the coffee 
shops of Arabia to tell stories, just as you have read in the 
Arabian Nights. Some of their stories are very interesting 
and some of their proverbs are wise. Others are not inter- 
esting and many of their stories are too bad to repeat. Even 
some of their proverbs bear the mark of their topsy-turvy 
religion and are only half true. Judge them for yourself. 
Here are fifty examples; which do you think is the best 
proverb among them ? Are they all good ? 

First seek your neighbour, then build your house. 

First get a companion, then go on the road. 

Whoever dies in a strange land, dies a martyr. 

When the judge is oppressive, the very air is, too. 

Don't cut your head off with your tongue. 

Keep your dog hungry and he will follow you. 

Leave off sin, then ask forgiveness. 

Every horse knows its rider. 

Talk is feminine, but a good answer is masculine. 

With little food a bed tastes good. 

A trotting dog is better than a sleeping lion. 

Every girl is beautiful in her father's eyes. 




His tongue is sweeter than dates but his hands are as hard 
as sticks. 
There is no perfume after the wedding. 
Clouds do not fear the barking of dogs. 
A bird catches a bird. 
Poverty is the mother of deceptions. 
The fruit of haste is repentance. 

That man is like the Kaaba ; he goes nowhere but every 
one comes to him. 
The tongue of a fool is the key to his destruction. 
The needle clothes others but is itself naked. 
If the owl were game to eat, the gunner would not have 
passed by the ruined castle. 

Happy is the man whose enemy is wise. 

Time is stingy of honour. 

The best generosity is quick. 

If your neighbour is honey, don't lick him all up. 

If you don't know a man's parents look at his appearance. 

What a strange world if all wool were red! 

Fall but don't bawl. 

Your enemy will love you when the ass becomes a 

Wait, donkey, till the grass grows. 

A loaned garment is not warm. 

He is a hard man; his name is Rock, son of a Cliff. 

The oppression of a cat is better than the justice of a rat. 

While I was fishing, I was caught. 

A blacksmith came to shoe the Pasha's horse and a frog 
in the pond stuck out her foot too. 




One nettle seed will ruin a garden. 

Who speaks the whole truth will get a broken head. 

What's the good of a house without food ? 

Ask experience but don't neglect the doctor. 

She wears seven veils but has no modesty. 

He fasted a year and breakfasted on an onion. 

A false friend is an open enemy. 

They gave me no food, but the smoke from their kitchen 
blinded me. 

When the lion is away, the hyenas play. 

They said to the blind man, throw away your stick; he 
replied, why desert an old friend ? 

Haste is of the devil; deliberation, of God. 

They put the dog's tail in the press forty years, and when 
it came out it still had a curl. 

Lucky days do not come in a bunch. 

Look for a thing where you lost it. 

Some of these resemble our own proverbs and others may 
perplex you at first. Of course they are all better in Arabic 
than in the translation. The people of Arabia seldom or 
never engage in practical jokes, but they are often very 
witty in their remarks. The Caliph Mansur once met an 
Arab on the desert and said to him: " Give thanks to God 
who has caused the plague to cease that ravaged thy coun- 

"God is too good," the Arab answered, "to punish us 
with two such scourges at the same time as the plague and 
thy government." 

An Arab poet sent his book to a famous author. " Dost 




thou want fame?" said the latter, "then hang thy book up 
in the market-place where all can see it." 

" But how will they know the author ?" 

"Why, just hang yourself close to the book! " 

Here is another story that is told about a Moslem preacher. 
One Friday when the people were gathered in the mosque 
to pray and to hear the sermon, he got up in the pulpit and 
asked the audience if they knew what he intended to preach 

"No," they replied. 

"Well, then, I shall not tell you," and he stepped down. 
The next Friday he asked the same question, and now, 
taught by experience, they answered: 
"Yes, we know." 

"Well, then, I need not tell you," and again he stepped 

The third Friday when the same question was put, the 
people said, "Some of us know and some don't know." 

"In that case," said the preacher-wag, "let those of you 
who know tell those that don't know." And again there 
was no sermon. 

And now to close this chapter here is a very topsy-turvy 
story with a puzzle in it: 

The Arabs relate that when the prophet Jonah fled from 
Joppa to Tarshish, there were thirty passengers, all told, in 
the ship. The storm grew very fierce, and out of fear, the 
captain determined to throw half the crew overboard, that is, 
fifteen men. But he knew that fifteen of the thirty were 
true believers, and fifteen were infidels, and among them, 




Jonah also. To avoid suspicion and accomplish his purpose 
he put the thirty men all in a row in such a way that by 
counting out every ninth man, the believers alone remained 
and the unbelievers were all of them one by one cast into 
the sea. 

This is the way he arranged them ; every dot stands for 
an unbeliever, and the strokes for believers— thirty alto- 

IMf il'fJI-J'*lf'--l' # ll- 


You begin to count from the left, as the captain did, and 
if you mark out every ninth man you can keep- on counting 
out the ninth men until only upright strokes are left. 

From your knowledge of arithmetic, can you tell me the 
reason of this puzzle ? 

The Arabs remember the puzzle by some verses in which 
every dotted letter stands for an unbeliever and those that 
have no dots stand for Moslems. 

You see that even the story of Jonah and the whale is 
topsy-turvy out in Arabia! 




In olden times Arabia was a much more important 
country than it is to-day. Before there were large sea- 
going ships, all the trade between India, Persia, even China, 
on the east, and Egypt on the west, was carried on .camels. 
The caravans at that time used to cross Arabia in all 
directions, and the men who drove these camel-trains grew 
wealthy, as railroad magnates do to-day. We read about 
this early traffic on these highways of the desert in the Old 
Testament as well as in the old Greek histories. The prov- 
ince of Yemen was celebrated for its wealth and civilisation 
as early as the time of Solomon. It was then called Sheba 
and -the old capital was called Marib, a little' northeast of 
the present city of Sanaa. There are still many extensive 
ruins and inscriptions which testify to the height of their 
civilisation. We read of one of the queens of Sheba (the 
Arabs say she was named Bilhis) who came to prove 
Solomon with hard questions. She came with a large 
caravan of camels bearing spices and gold in abundance; 
her present to Solomon consisted of "an hundred and 
twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and 
precious stones." Gold is no longer found in Arabia but it 
was undoubtedly once very plentiful there. All the old 
writers speak of Arabia as a gold country. One of the 
Greek geographers speaks of a stream in which large 




nuggets of gold were found. Some people think Ophir 
was in Arabia. However that may be, the traveller Burton 
explored the northwestern part of the peninsula and found 
old mines and even traces of gold dust. If Job lived in the 
land of Midian we can well understand how he could de- 
scribe mining operations so well as he does in the twenty- 
eighth chapter of his book. 

Frankincense and myrrh were also carried across Arabia 
by the caravans, and both of these precious gums came 
from Arabia itself and are still found there. One of the 
oldest articles of commerce was incense. The gum was 


used in sacrifices and in all the heathen temple worship as 
well as by the Jews in their worship. One thousand talents' 
weight of frankincense was brought every year to Darius, 
the Persian king, as tribute from Arabia. The present 
incense country is southern Arabia, especially Hadramaut. 




Here the incense tree (of which you see a small branch in 
the picture) grows. The young trees are cut with a knife, 
and from the incisions made in the bark a milk-like juice 
comes out. When it has had time to harden, the large 
clear globules are scraped off into baskets and the inferior 
kind that has run down the bark is collected separately. 
It is shipped from Arabia to Bombay or goes out from 
Aden and still commands a good price. In some Roman 
Catholic churches this incense is burnt every Sunday and 
if you will go to a large druggist he may be able to show 
you pieces of Arabian incense. 

Myrrh and frankincense are frequently mentioned to- 
gether. Both are sweet-smelling gums and both came 
originally from Arabia. According to a Greek legend, 
Myrrha was the daughter of one of the kings of Cyprus 
who angered her father and when he attempted to stab her, 
fled to Arabia. Here she was changed into a tree called 
myrrh! A few of these trees are still found in Yemen, but 
myrrh is not at all as plentiful as it once was in Arabia. It 
is a low, thorny, ragged-looking tree with bright green 
leaves. The gum exudes from cracks in the bark near the 
root of the plant. When dry it is of a rich brown colour 
and has a bitter taste. The word "myrrh" in Arabic 
means bitter, and I think that is the origin of the name 
given to the tree and not the foolish story of the Greek 
mythology. You must look up all the references in the 
Bible to myrrh. I wonder whether the myrrh which Nico- 
demus used to embalm the body of our Saviour for His 
burial came from Arabia ? In Matthew's gospel we read of 




the wise men who came from the East to worship Jesus. 
" And when they had opened their treasures they presented 
unto Him gifts; gold and frankincense and myrrh." Do 
you not think that these wise men came from Arabia, even 
as the queen of Sheba did, to see the king of the Jews? 
Perhaps Isaiah prophesied of their coming when he wrote 
concerning Arabia: "The multitude of camels shall cover 
thee the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from 
Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and 
they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord." At any rate 
we are quite sure that the frankincense they brought came 
from Arabia. There is a great deal in the Bible about this 
country and there are many beautiful promises for the re- 
demption of its people. Arabs were present at Pentecost 
and the first missionary to Arabia was the Apostle Paul. 
God has not forgotten His promises and we must all pray 
that soon they may be fulfilled. No one has yet been to 
tell the children of Hadramaut, who gather the incense- 
gum, the story of Jesus' birth and of His death on the cross. 
There is not a single missionary in all that country; no one 
has been to tell the news that the Babe of Bethlehem is the 
King of Glory. 

"Thou who in a manger 

Once hast lowly lain, 
Who dost now in glory 

O'er all kingdoms reign, 
Gather in the heathen 

Who in lands afar 
Ne'er have see the brightness 

Of Thy guiding star." 




The Arabs who in past ages were the merchants of the 
Orient in gold, frankincense and myrrh, both then and now 
traded in slaves also. And the cruel trade is not yet ended. 
Would you like to hear about some boys who have darker 
skins than yours, and darker hearts, because they do not 
know the Lord Jesus as their own Saviour? Well, these 
poor little boys were stolen from their mothers and fathers 
by wicked men called Arabs, who go from Arabia to Africa 
in boats to steal boys and girls and bring them here to sell 
them. Each boy is sold for nearly ten pounds ($50). These 
men know it is wrong in their hearts, but you see what a 
lot of money they make! What does St Paul say ? " The 
love of money is the root of all evil." And then the religion 
of the Arab permits him to do this work of stealing and 
selling boys and girls. 

One night about two or three years ago, just as the sun 
was setting, some little black boys were playing and fishing 
near the water on the coast of Zanzibar, in East Africa; a 
man came up to them and offered them some dates. Little 
black and white boys are always ready to eat, are they not ? 
These boys took the dates and while they were eating, the 
man threw a cloth over their heads and carried them off to a 
boat standing near. The Arabs caught a great many in this 
way, and when the boat had as many as it could carry they 




moved away and began to travel towards Arabia. The 
poor children were kept in the bottom of the boat, all 
huddled together, and given very little to eat and drink. 

Sometimes the sea 
was rough and 
they were sick, so 
altogether their 
voyage in an open 
boat was not a 
pleasant one. But 
''Some One" was 
taking notice of 
these children and 
He was going to 
deliver them. Do 
you know who 
was watching 
over them ? After 
many days at sea 
the boat came 
near Muscat. A 
servant of the 
British Consul 
saw the boat and 
knew there were 
slaves in it. Then 
the Consul got ready in a small boat and went after the big 
one, They had to follow nearly all night and at last over- 
took the slave-dhow. The Consul pulled alongside in a 





Bedden (native boat) and demanded the firearms of the 
Arabs. Then he bound them and put his own sailors on 
board, and brought the precious cargo of souls into Muscat 


The owner of the slave-dhow was sent to prison, and the 
boys and girls were given away to Christian people to train, 
the missionary in Muscat getting the largest share. 

This was the origin of the rescued-slave school at Muscat. 
Other slaves are caught from time to time and liberated. 
Sometimes they are sent to Bombay or other places in 
India; a large number were once liberated at Aden and are 
now in a school at Lovedale in Africa. When these poor 
slave children first come from the slave ships they are very 
ignorant and almost like wild animals. They need to learn 
everything, and even their language is of little use to them, 
as they need to learn Arabic before they can get along in 
Arabia. The Muscat boys first learned English from the 
missionary, but it was not easy for them. 

They only knew a few words when I first went to Mus- 
cat. For instance, they called all lights, such as lamps, 
candles, etc., fire. Well, one night we were sitting on the 
verandah with the lamp, reading, and Suliman came and 
said "big fire!" We jumped up and said " where?" 
Looking all around we could not see a sign of fire. Then 
he said, "big fire on table." We ran into the dining-room 
—still no fire. Suliman then pointed to the lamp and said 
again "big fire"; so we learned by that time he wanted the 
lamp for the table, as dinner was ready. 
Would you like to hear how a day was spent in this Mus- 




cat school when the boys were beginning to learn ? Now 
the boys are all big and have scattered; they are working as 


servants in different places and some are learning a trade. 
But here is a description of the early days of their training: 
" We are up before dawn almost, and yet the boys are up 




before us, and have taken in their mats (beds), and are 
splashing about in the big cement bath in the yard. They 
do not use towels; the sun soon dries the skin, and then 
they dress with one article only, a wa^eera, a piece of cloth. 
After the bath they clean up the schoolroom, sweep the 
yard; then they eat bread and dates and drink water. 
When the meal is finished all the boys wash their hands and 
put on their coats to come up-stairs. See how nicely they 
march forward, two and two, just like the animals going 
into Noah's Ark. They halt in front of the harmonium 
'single file'— 'face about— 'toes to line!' Now we 
are ready for prayers. Look, boys and girls, how quietly 
these black boys stand; now we are going to sing: 'Jesus 
loves me, this I know.' They love the singing, and all 
make as much noise as possible. Singing finished, we read 
a short passage of Scripture, and tell very simply how Jesus 
loved them and died for them. They are beginning to 
learn about God and who the Lord Jesus is. One morning 
I held up the Bible and asked them, ' What is this ? ' 
" They answered, ' God's Book.' 
11 ' And what do we read about in God's Book ? ' 
"They all answered, ' The Lord is my shepherd I shall not 
want.' I had been teaching them this Psalm, but I did not 
know how well they knew it; it was a nice answer, do not 
you think so ? After the scripture lesson we kneel and 
pray, all the boys repeating, 'O God, wash me from all my 
sins in the blood of my Saviour, and I shall be whiter than 
snow; give me Thy Holy Spirit, for Jesus' sake. Amen.' 
Will you ask God to make the boys pray this prayer from 




their hearts ? You see they are only just beginning to learn 
about God. Before they came to us they were quite 
heathen. Prayer ended we all march into another room,— 
you may come too, and begin lessons. The big boys are 
learning sentences now; the little ones are still at A, B, C, i, 
2, 3. At the end of two hours of spelling, reading and 
writing, a little simple drill and the morning school is ended. 
Some of the boys help prepare their fish and rice for dinner, 
and others make baskets. At three o'clock all march up 
again for sewing. And let me tell you a secret; the smallest 
boy of all sews the neatest. After this the boys get ready 
to go for a bath in the sea, or for a walk. When we 
return we have evening prayers, and then the boys eat their 
supper of rice and fish, take their mats into the garden and 
go to sleep." 

That was the way in which eighteen rescued slave boys 
began to live a life with more light, and therefore also more 
responsibility than their former life as savage children in 

But what of the thousands who are not rescued, but are 
taken to places along the coast of Arabia and sold ? Their 
lot is miserable. In Mecca there is a slave market where 
boys and girls are sold to the highest bidder. At Sur, in 
South Arabia, there are still many Arabs who make money 
by buying and selling poor negro children. Only last month 
a little negro lad called "Diamond" told me how he had 
been captured and sold to a merchant in Persia. I am very 
glad that I can tell you that the little lad escaped to a British 
ship and is now free. 




A writer who travelled in the Red Sea says that he passed 
hundreds of slave-dhows. What a lot of misery that means ; 
not only misery to the parents of these stolen children in 
Africa, but to the children themselves. There may be many 
slaves in Arabia who get enough to eat and have good 
clothing to wear, but they always remain slaves at the best, 
and are taught a false religion by their masters. I think 
nearly all of them were happier at home in Africa than in 
dark Arabia. 

It is hard to love the cruel slave trader, is it not ? Yet 
Jesus told us to " love our enemies." The way to root out 
the slave trade is to evangelise the slave trader. The entire 
west coast of Arabia has not a single missionary; no wonder 
that here the slave trade is carried on without hindrance! 
Will you not pray for western Arabia, and also for the Arab 
slave dealers that God may soften their hearts and make 
them stop their bad work ? And will not all the girls pray 
for their enslaved black sisters in Arabia, whose lot is very 
miserable ? 




Some little missionaries came to Arabia a few years before 
any of the American missionaries did, and have been coming 
ever since. Most of them were born in a country not far 
from Arabia, and yet only one of them visited Arabia before 
Mohammed was born. Although they never write reports 
of their work in the papers, yet I have seen a few splendid 
little accounts of their work written on tablets of flesh with 
tears for ink. It is just because their work is done so much 
in secret and in out-of-the-way places, that they are gener- 
ally overlooked and often underestimated. They receive 
only bare support and no salary, and get along in the most 
self-denying way by fasting and living all together, packed 
like herring in a dark, close room, except when they go out 
into the sunshine on their journeys. 

Most of them came out in the steerage of the big ships 
from London, but none of them were seasick at all through- 
out the entire voyage. They do not go about two and two 
unless it is that one of the old ones goes hand in hand with 
a younger brother for support. Generally a score or more 
travel together. They never complain of being tired or dis- 
couraged, and never get fever or cholera, although I have 
talked and slept with them at Bahrein when I had fever my- 
self. Never yet has one of them died on a sick-bed, al- 
though they often hide away and disappear for months. 




On one or two occasions I have heard of a small company 
of them being burned at the stake, but 1 was told that not a 
groan escaped from their lips, nor were their companions 
frightened the least bit. With my own eyes I have seen 
one or two of them torn asunder and trampled upon by 
those who hate Jesus Christ and His kingdom and His little 
missionaries. Yet the only sound to be heard was the 
blasphemies of their persecutors, who could not answer 
them in any other way. 

It is very strange indeed, that when once one or two of 
them get acclimatised and learn the language, they are 
bound to their work by so many tiny cords of love that 
they seldom fall apart from their work or fall out one with 
the other. There are more than sixty different names and 
ages among them, and yet they all have one family accent. 
Some of them are medical missionaries and can soothe and 
heal even broken hearts and prevent broken heads. There 
are two ladies among them, but they seldom go about 
alone, and, especially in Arabia, the men do most of the 
preaching. Most of them are evangelists or apostles and 
teachers. And their enterprise and push! why one of them 
told me the other day that he wanted " to preach the gospel 
in the regions beyond" Mecca, and that even there "every 
knee should bow to Jesus" Why, you begin to see them 
everywhere in the Persian Gulf and around Muscat and 
Aden. Last year a few of them went to Jiddah with the 
pilgrims. They dress very plainly, but often in bright 
Oriental colours (one just came in all in green); on one or 
two occasions I have seen them wear gold when visiting a 




rich man, but there was no pride about them, and they put 
on no airs in their talk. 

How many are there of these little missionaries, do you 
ask ? Over three thousand eight hundred and forty visited 
and left the three stations of the Arabian Mission in the 
Persian Gulf last year. But, as I told you, they are so 
modest that only a score of them perhaps sent in any 


account of their work, and that even was sent through a 

third party by word of mouth. I have heard it whispered 

that a faithful record of all their journeys and speeches is 

kept, but that these are put on file to be published all at 

once on a certain great day, when missionaries all get their 

permanent discharge. What a quiet, patient, faithful, loving 

body of workers they are. Even when it is very, very hot, 

and after a hard day's work, they never get out of temper 

as other missionaries sometimes do when in hot discussion 




with a bigoted Moslem. And yet how plainly they tell the 
truth — they do not even fear a Turkish Pasha; but that is 
because they have very cunningly all obtained a Turkish 
passport and a permit to preach anywhere unmolested. 

Of course, you have guessed my riddle, or else you will 
want to know what these missionaries cost and why we do 
not employ more of them; and who sent them out, and to 
what Board they are responsible; and who buys them new 
clothes of leather and cloth; and what happens to them 
when their backs are bent with age and their faces furrowed 
with care, and when only they themselves can read their 
title clear ? 

I think no one will have to help you guess my riddle or 
tell you that the four missionaries who go about the most 
are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and that the two ladies 
are Esther and Ruth. Now you have guessed that the 
Little Missionaries are the Books of the Bible. Do you 
know how many there are ? How many in the Old Testa- 
ment ? How many in the New Testament ? Perhaps some 
of you know the names of all the sixty-six! But it is not 
enough to know the names of these Books that we have 
called Little Missionaries. We must know what is in them, 
we must know the message they bear to this sinful and 
troubled world. And we must all do our part to send out 
this blessed message of peace, comfort, and eternal life. It 
may not be your work to go to Arabia, but yet you have a 
work to do of one kind or another for Arabia. The Bible 
must be sent there. And now may I ask all the boys and 

girls who read this to pray for the Little Missionaries? 



Pray that they may go ahead and prepare the way of the 
Lord all over this dark peninsula, from the palm groves 
of Busrah to the harbour of Aden, and from the sea of Oman 
to the unholy cities,— Mecca and Medina. 

"Jesus, tender Shepherd 

Thou hast other sheep 
Far away from shelter 

Where dark shadows creep. 
Seeking Saviour, bring them home 
That they may no longer roam. 

"Jesus, tender Shepherd 

While Thou leadest me, 
As Thy little helper 

Faithful may I be. 
Seeking others far and wide 
Drawing lost ones to Thy side." 



About eighteen hundred and fifty years ago two mission- 
aries came to a town in Asia Minor, called Thessalonica, 
and began to preach. They did nobody any harm and 
only talked about the love of Jesus Christ for sinners. A 
great number of people believed and attended their meet- 
ings. Some of the noble and wealthy women of the town 
also became Christians and for about three weeks the 
preaching went on unhindered. However, as soon as the 
enemies of the gospel saw that Paul and Silas were meeting 
with success they did their best to stir up trouble. A mob 
collected and with a great deal of noise and shouting pulled 
some of the new believers through the streets, crying: 
" They that have turned the world upside down are come 
hither also! " Just as it was in Thessalonica so it has been 
in every place where the gospel has been preached. The 
word of God does turn the world upside down. The 
gospel is powerful and its effect is often at first to stir up 
the envy and hatred of men who love not God. When the 
heathen are worshipping idols and enjoying sinful pleasures 
they like to be let alone. A thief does not like the police- 
man's lantern. Those who do dark things hate the light. 
The Moslem's idea of right and wrong is so crooked that 
he does not like to have it exposed. 

Supposing there was a country where all the people wore 







their garments wrong side out because they knew no better, 
and then some one came wearing his clothes properly and 
trying to teach these ignorant people, would they not think 
him mad and say why do you not turn your coat inside out ? 

That is the very way Moslems regard the missionary. 
They often tell us, "You are so good and kind why 
don't you accept the true religion and become a be- 
liever?" You must not think that the heathen or the 
Mohammedans are anxious to hear the gospel. They do 
not know of its value and so do not know what they 
miss. When they hear that the gospel demands a holy life 
and forbids all swearing and lying and uncleanness, they 
think such a religion too difficult and prefer their own. 
All their topsy-turvy ways and thoughts seem perfectly 
correct to themselves until God's Spirit enlightens them. 

It is no wonder therefore that there is always opposition 
and trouble when missionaries (even such quiet little 
missionaries as we read about), come to a village. When 
you want to put a thing straight that is upside down there 
is sure to be an overturning. The farmer is not sorry 
because his rude plow breaks the hard soil and bruises the 
weeds and turns all the greensward under. Oh no; he 
does that to make some better green grow. Wait three 
months and you will see the whole field covered with a 
waving harvest of wheat. Ploughing is pretty rough work 
on weeds. Opening a new mission station is pretty rough, 
I admit, on a false religion. And the wise men cannot help 
knowing this and so they repeat the words of the old 
Greeks when they see a missionary settle down in their 




village: "Those that have turned the world upside down 
are come hither also . . . saying that there is another 
King, Jesus." 

The king of all hearts in the Mohammedan world is their 
prophet Mohammed. They love his name and imitate 
his acts to the least particular. Much more faithfully, I 
fear, than we imitate Jesus, our example. The great ques- 
tion in Arabia is whether Mohammed or Jesus is to rule the 
country. Mohammed has had it very much his own way 
for thirteen hundred years, but now his dominion is being 
disputed. God's providence is working in many ways to 
help His gospel. I sometimes think that we might call His 
providence the plow and His gospel the good seed. For 
example, what a strange thing it is for the Arabs to find 
Christian governments interfering with their slave trade. 
Does not the Koran approve of slave holders and did not 
Mohammed buy and sell slaves ? And then when the big 
merchant ships come to the coasts of Arabia and the 
ignorant Arabs learn of other lands and peoples and civili- 
sation they cannot help losing some of their pride and 
prejudice. They compare the government of England in 
Aden with that of the Turks in Sanaa and then — well 
they feel like turning the world upside down themselves! 

The Mohammedan religion has such a strong hold in 
Arabia that it will not be overcome in one day or by one 
battle. We must expect a long and hard fight. Before 
Topsy-turvy Land becomes a Christian land there will be 
martyrs in Arabia. Every Moslem who accepts Christ does 
so at his peril, and yet there are those who dare to confess 




Christ before men. When you read in mission reports of 
troubles and opposition, of burning up books, imprisoning 
colporteurs and expelling missionaries you must not think 
that the gospel is being defeated. It is conquering. What 
we see under such circumstances is only the dust in the 
wake of the ploughman. God is turning the world upside 
down that it may be right side up when Jesus comes. He 
that plougheth should plough in hope. We may not be 
able to see a harvest yet in this country but, furrow after 
furrow, the soil is getting ready for the seed. 

Don't some of you want to come and do a day's plough- 
ing for the King? There are some splendid stretches of 
virgin prairie yet untouched between Bahrein and Mecca. 





The story of mission work in Arabia is not very long, but 
it is full of interest. From the day when Mohammed pro- 
claimed himself an apostle in Mecca until about sixteen 
years ago when Ion Keith Falconer came to Aden as a mis- 
sionary, all of Topsy-turvy Land lay in darkness as regards 
the gospel. For thirteen hundred years Mohammed had it 
all his own way in Arabia. Now his dominion over the 
hearts of men, is in dispute, and there is no doubt that the 
final, full victory will rest with Jesus the Son of God, the 
Saviour of the world. 

Would you like to hear something, before we close this 
book about the missions that are now working in this coun- 
try ? There are three missions. The missionaries of the 
Church of England began work in Bagdad about the year 
1882. Bagdad is not at all a small town. It has a popula- 
tion of one hundred and eighty thousand people, and it was 
once a very important city. You can read all about its 
ancient beauty and wealth and commerce in the Arabian 
Nights. Some of the palaces that Harouner Rashid visited 
are still standing. In the city there are at present sixty-four 
mosques, six churches and twenty-two synagogues. One- 
third of the population are Jews, and there are over five 
thousand Christians. Most of the latter belong to the Ro- 
man Catholic faith, or to other twilight churches. The Ro- 



man Catholic cathedral, which you see in the picture, is the 
only church in all Northern Arabia that has a bell. Moslems 
do not like to hear church-bells, and they were forbidden 
by some rulers of the Moslem world long ago. The Prot- 
estant Christians meet for worship in a dwelling-house. 
The Bagdad mission has a large dispensary for the sick 
where thousands of Moslems and Jews and Christians come 
every year for treatment. Books are sold to the people, and 
there is a school for boys and girls which is also helping to 
turn down old prejudices and turn up the right side of child- 
life. The Moslem children are beginning to believe that the 
world is round and that Constantinople is not the capital of 
all Europe. 

The British and Foreign Bible Society is also helping to 
turn this part of the world downside up. The gospel 
which has been buried under many superstitions and tradi- 
tions so long, is again showing its power. Colporteurs 
are men who carry the Bible about, offer it to the people 
and read and explain it to those whose hearts are open. 
They have a hard task, but if it were not for them the " Lit- 
tle Missionaries " would not get along at all. 

On the way from Bagdad to Busrah, we pass Amara, an 
enterprising village where the people once burned books 
and threw stones at the missionary, but where now the little 
Bible-shop of the American Mission shines unhindered, 

" Like a little candle, burning in the night." 

At Busrah, Rev. James Cantine began mission work in 
1891, and ever since that time he and others have been 




ploughing and sowing seed and waiting for the showers 
that come before the harvest. It was at Busrah that Kamil 
Abd el Messiah, the Moslem convert from Syria, died a wit- 
ness for Christ. Have you read the wonderful story of his 
life ? It is full of pathos and shows how in the heart and 
life of at least one Moslem the Holy Spirit made topsy-turvy 
things straight. There are others like Kamil in Arabia, but 
many of them are still following the Master afar off, because 
they fear the persecutions of men. At Busrah, there is also 
a dispensary, and here too the gospel is sold and preached 
and lived before the people. 

Bahrein, you know, is a group of islands, and it is about 
six years ago that the people first saw a missionary. Nearly 
three-fourths of the population are pearl-merchants or pearl- 
fishers. Will you not pray that they may learn to value the 
Pearl of Great Price ? 

A visit any morning in the week to the dispensary at 
Bahrein, would soon convince you that here too the Arab 
world is slowly but surely turning downside up. Women 
learn to their delight that they have equal right to sympathy 
with men, and they need not wait until the men are helped 
first. The Arabs are very ignorant of medicine and their 
remedies are either foolish or cruel. To " let out the 
pain" in rheumatism, they burn the body with a hot iron. 
All their ideas are upside down, and very few know on 
which side of their body the liver is located. Now when our 
mission doctors perform miracles of surgery on the maimed, 
and miracles of mercy on the suffering, the result is to pre- 
pare their hearts for Christ's message. To the fanatic Mos- 




lem a Christian is "an ignorant unbeliever." But we may 
put a parody on Pope's lines and say, in their case: 

" A Christian is a monster of such frightful mien 
That to be hated needs but to be seen. 
But seen too oft familiar with his face 
They first endure, then pity, then embrace." 

Many of the Moslems who in gratitude are ready to em- 
brace a Christian physician may yet learn to embrace Chris- 
tian teaching. 

Muscat in Arabic, means "the place where something 
falls." And the surroundings are so rocky and steep that 
everything has a chance to tumble down except the mer- 
cury in the thermometer. That is always up high. In this 
hot, crowded town, the Arabian Mission opened its third 
station in the year 1893. Two years before the veteran 
missionary-bishop, Thomas Valpy French laid down his life 
here, and the fallen standard was taken up by Peter J. 
Zwemer. After five years of toil in Oman, he also entered 
into rest. George E. Stone, his successor in Oman, was 
also worthy of the martyr's crown, and his simple grave at 
Muscat tells how "he arose, forsook all, and followed 

This part of Arabia is sacred because of what these three 
pioneers suffered to open the door for the gospel. I do not 
think the King will leave a province where He has buried 
so much treasure in the hands of the enemy, do you? 
The work of preaching in Oman is at present full of 
promise, and the people seem willing to hear. The 




American Bible Society is sending the Scriptures all over 
Eastern Arabia. 

The last mission station in Arabia we mention, is the first 
that people generally visit. Aden is a coaling station as 
well as a missionary centre and passengers travelling to the 
Orient nearly always stop here on the way. There are 
Christian churches and hospitals and government schools. 
At Sheikh Ottoman, a short distance from Aden, Ion Keith 
Falconer, the first modern missionary to this land, began his 
work. He died here also, but his life was so full of love 
and sacrifice that his work is still going on. The Free 
Church of Scotland mission has medical work, an industrial 
school for waifs and a memorial chapel. From a great dis- 
tance patients come to be cured, and Moslems to buy the 

The great lighthouse on the island of Perim, near Aden, 
throws its light for ten miles out on the dark sea and saves 
ships from the breakers. But the light of the gospel in the 
Bible depot at Aden, shines two hundred miles to the north 
as far as Sanaa, and three hundred miles east to Makalla on 
the coast. Yet I dare say it costs more to keep up the light- 
house at Perim (not to speak of building it) than it does to 
keep open all the Bible lighthouses of all Arabia. Perhaps 
Keith Falconer thought of this when he said in his farewell 

" We Christians have a great and imposing war office, but 
a very small army. While vast continents are shrouded in 
almost utter darkness and hundreds of millions suffer the 
horrors of heathenism and Islam, the burden of proof lies 




upon you to show that the circumstances in which God has 
placed you, were meant by Him to keep you out of the for- 
eign mission field." 

Before you lay aside this book, will you not ask yourself 
why you should not go out to Arabia, or to some other land 
yet shrouded in darkness, and shine for Jesus ? 

An Old Friend in a New Dress. 



Seyyidi-'l-Fadi-'l Gani, Our Lord, the rich Saviour, 

Kalbehoo yuhibbooni, His heart loves me, 

Fa lahoo kooloo saghier. And to Him all little ones 

Yaltajee wahoo'1 kadeer. He protects us and is strong. 

Kad faaka hubban. 
Kad faaka hubban. 
Kad faaka hubban. 
Yuhibbuna Yasooa. 

Yes His love exceeds alL 
Yes His love exceeds all. 
Yes His love exceeds alL 
Jesus loves you. 




Will 'Delight E-Very Child LcOer 



Isaac Taylor Headland 

Illustrated. 4to, $1.00 Net 


' VEN more interesting and quaint than Dr. Head- 
, land's 'Chinese Mother Goose' rhymes of last 
year. The almond-eyed boys and girls have a great 
variety of games, many resembling those of Western 
lands, others different but queer and funny, and some 
of these latter our boys and girls may like to learn. 
The pictures and page-decoration are of the same jolly 
and curious kind found in the ' Mother Goose' book. 
The two books together really contain the results of a 
thorough study of Chinese child-life, and are at the 
same time immensely entertaining ! "— The Outlook. 
"Whoever argues from the solemnity of the adult, 
'Mongolian in a strange land,' that the Chinese at 
home must have a sad boyhood will be undeceived on 
reading this pleasing book. It is as full of fun, in its 
way, as the preceding ' Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes ' 
of the same observing and careful scholar. For chil- 
dren of any growth this book will afford endless 
amusement and reveal a new and unsuspected China. 
It makes two worlds kin."— New York Evening Post. 


Translated and Illustrated by 

Isaac T5aylor Headland 

Small quarto, Boards, Fully Illustrated, 160 Pages, $1.25 

"We have rarely seen a more charming book for 
children than this. Certainly it is in the fullest sense 
unique. Here he has translated many rhymes common 
in the Chinese nursery, and each page presents one of 
these rhymes, both in the Chinese characters and in 
an English translation into verse, while each is accom- 
panied by a little picture of Chinese life directly repro- 
duced from a photograph. In every respect the book 
is at the same time thoroughly Chinese and yet attract- 
ive to the eyes of American children." — The Outlook. 

"They MaK.e Two Worlds Kin" 


i2mo, decorated boards, 30c. 

" Bunny is a little girl, and her friends are a rabbit, a pony 
and a lark. Each one narrates his experiences to the child as she 
is alone with him in the open room. Children will listen eagerly to 
the reading of these little tales, and will doubtless be profited by 
them." — N. Y. Observer. 

" 'Bunny' herself was not a rabbit, as one might suspect. She 
was a little lonely girl, and her name was Dora. She had a little, 
dark, silky head, and big, blue eyes, which were always staring out 
at the world with big thoughts behind them, and she was still only 
when some one told her a story."— IV estern Christian Advocate. 


Illustrated, 1 2mo, decorated boards, 30c. 

41 Eric Wallace is an invalid lad, delicate, sweet and winsome, 
who by precept and example leads erring and scoffing men to faith 
in Christ. The good work is done in a natural and perfectly childish 
way, without any painful exhibitions of precocity or goodishness. 
The story is simply a glimpse here and there into the life of a pure 
hearted, sweet natured, happy soul who leads others into the light 
because he is in the light himself. It is a tender and beautiful story 
of Christian influence, conduct and example."— Christian Work. 


i2mo, decorated boards, 30c. 

" Miss Le Feuvre's stories about child life are charmingly 
well written and suggestive." — Christian Advocate. 

" Her stories are as bright and interesting and touching as if 
Juliana ^wing or I aura Richards had written them." — Evangelist. 

"A clever tale, written with a high purpose. ... A suc- 
cessful endeavor of one whose pen has found its highest employ- 
ment in the realistic sketching of child life."— Christian Advocate. 


An Easter Booklet. With illustrations by 
Eveline Lance, i2mo, cloth, 50c. 

" Many sweet lessons of faith and love drop from the lips of 
these little ones, and how they brought forth fruit in the heart of 
one of the aunts is impressively brought out. The book is daintily 
bound, and pretty illustrations brighten it" — Louisville Observer. 

" An engaging Easter story in relation to two children who 
are sent from India to their aunt in England to acquire strength 
and vigor from a cool climate and other benefits from association 
with English people." — Christian Intelligencer, 


PROBABLE SONS Vioth thousand. 
Illustrated, i2mo, cloth, 35 c. New illustrated 
edition. Small 4to, decorated cloth, 50c. 

11 We do not know the author of this very touching tale. It is 
equal to ' Fishin' Jimmy ' in its way, while as an illustration of the 
text, 'A little child shall lejd them,' it is the most irresistibly pa- 
thetic tale we remember to have seen. Among the brightest, most 
charming and irresistible of child-creations in our recent literature." 
— The Independence.'" ,,,,,.,, , 

"One of the brightest, sweetest, most helpful little books 
for young and old that we have seen for many a day. It is alive 
with that sort of humor that is so close to pathos that one laughs 
and cries in the same breath. It speaks to the very heart, and 
appeals strongly to all 'probable sons.' in whatever station or con- 
dition, in an irresistible way; and with winning simplicity and 
confidence shows the readiness of the Father to forgive and to 
receive." — Christian Work. 


Illustrated. Small 4to, decorated cloth, 50c. 

"A captivating story. Teddy and Nancy win our hearts. 
Tedd'ys brave fight with himself commands admiration, and stout- 
hearted, handsome Nancy, a real girl in all her doings, conquers 
the heart. A very good story is this for the children."— The 
Christian Intelligencer. ...... , 

"'Teddy's Button' was taken from the coat of his dying sol- 
dier father, and in the hands of the boy became a sort of talisman 
and an incentive to valiant service as a soldier of Jesus Christ. 
The story is one of fascinating interest, and the moral of it is not 
far to seek. The little folks will need no urging to read it."— The 


Profusely illustrated. Small 4to, decorated 
cloth, 50c. 

" Thunder," "Li" (Lightning), "Taters," " Honey," "Pat," 
"Pixie," and "Doodle-doo," make up the rollicking group whose 
adventures and chatter are here recorded. They are mercurial 
and insurrectionary to the last degree, and fly in a perpetual "merry- 
go-round." But a strain of seriousness ea^ly begins to develop, 
leading up into large and noble Christian exper ence and ambition. 
The incarnation of religion in daily life where it is " not too good for 
human nature's daily food," is admirably exemplified and com- 
mended." — Watchman. 

"A big and a bright and interesting family is here set before 
us. How one of them began to think, and then by acting on her 
thinking led the others into the right way ihe little sketch tells. 
—Pilgrim Teacher. 



Illustrated. i2mo, cloth, $1.00. 

"A delightful story of a quiet country life, of one who was 
eager to do good to her fellow-beings, and who improved every op- 
portunity to do so. Especially may those whose home is in the 
quiet country, and who think that there ?s no opportunities for doing 
good to be found there, find hints of ways in which much good may 
be done. The lives into which the least sunshine comes— these 
are the ones which need our help the most." — Christian Herald. 

" This is another of those charming and healthy stories for 
young people for which this author has become distinguished. It 
is a good book for the home or the Sunday-school library."— Zion's 


Illustrated, i6mo, cloth, 75c. 

" A story of a girl who, being left without a home, went to live 
with her guardian, who had a number of children. Hilda Thorn 
was trying to be a Christian, and her associates were very worldly, 
which made it hard for her. It is an interesting story, with 
the reality of experience." — The Religious Herald. 

"An intensely interesting story. The author plainly illustrates 
the possibility of magnifying Christian life and character amid the 
whirl of gayety and pleasure in social life. Character speaks with 
effectiveness, and the world bows in acknowledgment to practical 
Christianity in a positive religious character. The author evidently 
has succeeded in making her characters seem to be real and pos- 
sible. "—Christian Intelligencer. 


Illustrated. i2mo, cloth, 75c. 

"Aside from its lively interest, this story will be good for boys 
to read. It does not preach, but its influence is strong for the 
right, and it leaves a smack of hearty encouragement in the youth- 
ful mind." — The Independent. 

" Here is a capital little story for boys, for girls, or for grown 
people. Of course, it is a story with a moral, and the moral is al- 
ways obvious ; but it does not interrupt the story, which is good." 
— Church Standard. 

The story is a very pretty one, and nice to give little children 
or to put in a Sunday-school library. The sentiment is not mawk- 
ish nor the religious element overdone. 

Date Due 



IN U. S. A.